(a) An applicant is eligible for a license as a professional geologist in the State of Alabama if the applicant meets the following minimum requirements:
(1) Is of good moral character.
(2) Has graduated from an accredited college or university with a degree in geology, engineering geology, or one of the related geological sciences if the applicant has completed a minimum of 30 semester hours or their equivalent of course work in geological science. The appropriate college or university shall document educational experience by submitting a certified written reference or certified transcript directly to the board.
(3) Has at least five years of full-time professional geological work after receipt of a bachelor's degree, either as a geologist-in-training or in geologic work related to the public practice of geology which is satisfactory to the board. The following criteria of education and experience qualify toward accumulation of the required years of professional work:
a. The board, at its discretion, may give a maximum of one year's credit for each graduate degree in geology, engineering geology, or one of the related geological sciences.
b. The board may consider work in related fields as acceptable work experience.
c. In all cases, the board shall determine if the applicant has demonstrated his or her ability by having gained experience by performing work in a responsible position. The adequacy of the required supervision and experience shall be documented to the board as described hereinbelow.
d. Professional geologic research of applicants either teaching at the college or university level or in research agencies of state or federal government shall be credited and applied toward the professional requirements herein, provided the work or research in the geological sciences can be documented in writing and is demonstrated to be of a sufficiently responsible nature to be equivalent to the professional requirements as set forth above.
e. The professional geologic work experience of the applicant shall be documented in writing. Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, work experience obtained before receipt of a bachelor's degree shall not be accepted as credit toward professional geologic work experience.
(4) Passes an examination which is designed to demonstrate that the applicant has the necessary knowledge and requisite skill to exercise the responsibilities of the public practice of geology.
(5) Is a citizen of the United States or, if not a citizen of the United States, a person who is legally present in the United States with appropriate documentation from the federal government.
(b) The board shall waive the requirements of subdivision (4) of subsection (a) if the applicant meets all other requirements of this chapter and makes written application to the board not later than one year after the initial board requests applications.