Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Geography & Cartography Major

Find Schools Near

Geography & Cartography

4,690 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,192 Master's Degrees Annually
#81 in Popularity
$80,530 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Geography & Cartography Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many geography and cartography graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 4,690
Master’s Degree 1,192
Basic Certificate 1,050
Graduate Certificate 827
Associate’s Degree 339
Undergraduate Certificate 295
Doctor’s Degree 280

What Geography & Cartography Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, geography majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Geography Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in geography should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

undefined
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Geography Majors

A major in geography prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

undefined
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.

Abilities for Geography Majors

Geography majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

undefined
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Geography & Cartography Major?

People with a geography degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists 19.0% $64,430
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Geographers 13.3% $80,300
Geography Professors 8.0% $80,350
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography & Cartography?

4,690 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
39% Percent Women
26% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,690 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography and cartography in 2019, making it rank #81 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 61% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of geography majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Geography Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 265
Black or African American 155
Hispanic or Latino 563
White 3,165
International Students 192
Other Races/Ethnicities 350

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Geography. About 4.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Hong Kong

How Much Do Geography & Cartography Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography have a median salary of $32,500 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,850 (25th percentile) and $35,600 (75th percentile).

undefined

Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a geography degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $68,340 to $88,950 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to geography. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Geography & Cartography Major  ( 68340 to 88950 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some degrees associated with geography may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for geography careers below.

undefined
Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.5%
Some College Courses 1.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 46.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 1.6%
Master’s Degree 16.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.6%
Doctoral Degree 19.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online Geography & Cartography Programs

In 2018-2019, 507 schools offered a geography program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 167 18
Certificate (1-2 years) 62 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 5 1
Associate’s Degree 140 9
Bachelor’s Degree 114 24
Post-Baccalaureate 167 18
Master’s Degree 187 20
Post-Master’s 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 69 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Geography & Cartography Worth It?

The median salary for a geography grad is $80,530 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 102% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $812,600 after 20 years!

undefined

You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to geography.

Major Number of Grads
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
Sociology 37,611
General Social Sciences 19,694
International Relations & National Security 15,207
Anthropology 11,703
Criminology 9,783
Other Social Sciences 2,729
Urban Studies 1,647
Sociology & Anthropology 543
Archeology 364
Demography & Population Studies 77
Rural Sociology 36

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.