Any person except as specifically exempted below who shall publicly practice or offer to publicly practice geology in this State is subject to the provisions of this Chapter. The following persons are exempt:
(1) Persons engaged solely in teaching the science of geology or engaged solely in geologic research in this State may pursue their teaching and/or research without licensing. A teacher or researcher must, however, be a licensed geologist if he or she performs geologic work and services for which a licensed geologist is required by this Chapter.
(2) Officers and employees of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina practicing solely as such officers or employees.
(3) Officers and employees of petroleum companies practicing solely as such officers and employees and not offering their professional services to the public for hire.
(4) A subordinate to a geologist or a geologist-in-training licensed under this Chapter insofar as he or she acts solely in such capacity. This exemption does not permit any such subordinate to practice geology for others in his own right or use the term "licensed geologist". (1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1074, s. 1.)