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What You Need to Know About Geographers

Geographer Job Description Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth’s surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants, and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.

Daily Life Of a Geographer

  • Teach geography.
  • Write and present reports of research findings.
  • Provide geographical information systems support to the private and public sectors.
  • Gather and compile geographic data from sources including censuses, field observations, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and existing maps.
  • Develop, operate, and maintain geographical information computer systems, including hardware, software, plotters, digitizers, printers, and video cameras.
  • Collect data on physical characteristics of specified areas, such as geological formations, climates, and vegetation, using surveying or meteorological equipment.

Geographer Skills

When polled, Geographers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Physical Geographer
  • Scientist
  • GIS Physical Scientist (Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist)
  • GIS Geographer (Geographic Information Systems Geographer)
  • Economic Geographer

What Kind of Geographer Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 1,500 jobs for Geographers in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 100 new jobs for Geographers by 2026. There will be an estimated 200 positions for Geographer per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Geographers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Geographers are Texas, Georgia, and Missouri.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Washington, or North Carolina. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Geographer Make?

The salary for Geographers ranges between about $50,720 and $109,900 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $80,300.

Salary Ranges for Geographers

How much do Geographers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

California

$85,530

Maryland

$84,990

Colorado

$84,380

Washington

$83,530

Louisiana

$81,160

Georgia

$79,030

Oregon

$78,630

Missouri

$76,320

Arizona

$69,730

Minnesota

$67,820

Texas

$65,000

What Tools & Technology do Geographers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Geographers:

  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Minitab
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Autodesk AutoCAD

Who Employs Geographers?

Geographer Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Geographer may also be interested in:

  • Agricultural Engineers

Those who work as Geographers sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Sociology Professors
  • Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Professors
  • History Professors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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