Many graduates with a planetary science degree end up working for private companies in resource exploration, where they locate minerals, ores, and various energy sources such as oil, methane, and natural gas. As well, they can locate and map water resources or indicate subsurface hazards that might affect construction sites or land use. Aerospace firms also employ planetary scientists for exploration and mapping purposes on other planets and asteroids.
Those with a planetary science degree can also work in many of the same jobs as geologists and meteorologists, depending on the focus of the degree. See the articles on geology and atmospheric sciences for more information on those career options. As well, the knowledge base from the degree, particularly experience with remote sensing, can be used for a career in intelligence, defense, or aerospace with various government agencies.
Those with a background in planetary science can also work in maintaining and administering observatories, developing instruments, electronics, and software engineering. These people often have additional degrees in astronomy or astrophysics.
Planetary scientists can also work in a research setting for a university, where they also teach planetary science, geology, geophysics, or physics. With an accompanying education degree, employment is also available at the high school level as a geology or physics teacher.