fast Facts: Geographers 2020 median Pay common Entry-Level Education work-related Experience in a associated Occupation On-the-job Training number of Jobs, 2020 job Outlook, 2020-30 employment Change, 2020-30
$85,430 per year$41.07 per hour
Bachelor"s degree
1% (Little or no change)

What Geographers perform

Geographers examine the Earth and also the distribution of that is land, features, and also inhabitants.

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occupational Environment

Most geographers work full time during standard business hours. Many geographers carry out fieldwork, i beg your pardon may incorporate travel to foreign nations or far locations.

how to come to be a Geographer

Geographers need a bachelor’s degree for many entry-level positions and for positions within the federal government. Occupational experience and a master’s degree are generally required for an ext advanced positions.


The median yearly wage for geographers to be $85,430 in might 2020.

job Outlook

Employmentof geographers is projected to show small or no readjust from 2020 to 2030.

Despite restricted employment growth, around 100 openings because that geographers room projected each year, top top average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to an outcome from the should replace workers who carry to various occupations or exit the labor force, such regarding retire.

State & Area Data

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comparable Occupations

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much more Information, including Links to O*NET

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Geographers study the Earth and also the distribution of its land, features, and also inhabitants. They also examine political or cultural structures and study the physical and also human geographic characteristics of regions ranging in range from local to global.


Geographers frequently do the following:

Gather geographic data through ar observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and also censusesConduct research via surveys, interviews, and also focus groupsCreate and modify maps or various other visual representations of geographical dataAnalyze the geographic circulation of physical and social characteristics and occurrencesCollect, analyze, and display geographic data with geographic Information equipment (GIS)Write reports and present study findingsAssist, advise, or command others in making use of GIS and geographic dataLink geographical data through data pertaining come a particular specialty, such together economics, the environment, health, or politics

Geographers use several technologies in their work, such together GIS, remote sensing, and global positioning equipment (GPS). Geographers use GIS to discover relationships and also trends in geographical data. This systems allow geographers to current data visually as maps, reports, and also charts. Because that example, geographers can overlay aerial or satellite pictures with GIS data, such as populace density in a offered region, and create digital maps. Castle then usage the maps to inform governments, businesses, and the general public ~ above a selection of issues, such as developing marketing strategies; plan homes, roads, and landfills; and also responding to disasters.

The complying with are instances of varieties of geographers:

Physical geographers examine the physical aspects of a an ar and just how they relate to humans. They study attributes of the herbal environment, such as landforms, climates, soils, organic hazards, water, and plants. For example, physical geographers may map whereby a natural resource occurs in a country or examine the implications of suggest economic advancement on the surrounding natural environment.

Human geographers analyze the organization of human task and its relationships with the physics environment. Human geographers often incorporate issues from other techniques into their research, i beg your pardon may incorporate economic, environmental, medical, cultural, social, or political topics. In your research, some human being geographers rely mainly on statistical approaches or quantitative methods, and others depend on nonstatistical sources or qualitative methods, such as field observations and also interviews.

Geographers regularly work on jobs with civilization in related fields. Because that example, geographers might work v urban planners, civil engineers, legislators, or real estate professionals to recognize the finest location for new public transportation infrastructure.

Some world with a location degree end up being postsecondary teachers.

Many human being who research geography and also who use GIS in their occupational are employed together surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists, surveying and mapping technicians, metropolitan and regional planners, or geoscientists.


Geographers held about 1,600 jobs in 2020. The largest employers that geographers were as follows:

Federal government, not included postal service 62%
Educational services; state, local, and private 15
State government, not included education and also hospitals 8
Professional, scientific, and technical services 7

Many geographers execute fieldwork to gather information and data. Because that example, geographers regularly make website visits to observe geographical features, such as the landscape and also environment. Some geographers travel to the an ar they are studying, and also sometimes that way working in foreign countries and remote locations.

Work Schedules

Most geographers work complete time during regular company hours.


Geographers require a bachelor’s degree for many entry-level positions and also for positions within the commonwealth government. Work experience and also a master’s degree are frequently required for an ext advanced positions.


Geographers with a bachelor’s degree qualify for many entry-level jobs and also for positions through the commonwealth government. Geographers outside of the federal government may need a master’s level in location or in geographical Information systems (GIS). Some positions permit candidates come substitute job-related experience or GIS proficiency because that an advanced degree. Optimal research positions usually require a Ph.D., or a master’s degree and also several year of relevant work experience.

Most geography programs encompass courses in both physical and human geography, statistics or math, remote sensing, and GIS. In addition, courses in specialized areas of expertise are ending up being increasingly important since the geography ar is wide and interdisciplinary. Because that example, business, economics, or genuine estate process are coming to be increasingly crucial for geographers functioning in exclusive industry.

Other Experience

Students and new graduates frequently gain suffer through internships. This form of practical experience permits students to develop new skills, check out their interests, and also become acquainted with geography in practice. Internships deserve to be beneficial for jobseekers, since some employers like workers who have practical experience.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not required, many positions require geographers come be proficient in GIS, and certification can show a level of experienced expertise. The GIS Certification Institute uses the GIS expert (GISP) certification because that geographers. Candidates might qualify because that certification v a mix of education, expert experience, and contributions come the profession, such as publications or joining in conferences. The American society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing likewise offers certification in GIS. Candidates may qualify for certification v 3 years of suffer in GIS, four references, and also the pass of a created exam.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Geographers analyze information and also spatial data indigenous a selection of sources, such together maps, photographs, and censuses. They must then be able to draw conclusions from your analyses of different sets the data.

Computer skills. Geographers have to be proficient in GIS programming and database management and should it is in comfortable creating and manipulating digital photos with the GIS software.

Critical-thinking skills. Geographers require critical-thinking an abilities when law research since they must pick the suitable data, methods, and also scale of analysis for projects. Because that example, after reviewing a set of populace data, they may identify the effects of a specific development plan.

Speaking skills. Geographers must be able to communicate v coworkers; present, explain, and defend their research; and also be a contributing member that teams.

Writing skills.

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Geographers regularly write reports or write-ups detailing their study findings. They likewise may should write suggest so the they can receive resources for their research study or projects.