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Geography & Cartography

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Geography & Cartography Major

6,755 yearly degrees
#108 in popularity
$81,000 median salary

Geography and cartography is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 135 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in geography, 337 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 185 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 69 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Geography Degree?

In 2017, roughly 4,900 geography and cartography majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #78 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major tends to be male dominated. About 61.4% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 5.1%
  • Black or African American: 3.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.6%
  • White: 69.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 3.5%
  • Other Races: 6.9%
Geography & Cartography Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in geography. About 3.5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending geography majors to the U.S. are China, India and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Geography & Cartography Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to geography to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Geography Majors

A major in geography should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Geography & Cartography Majors

Skills for Geography Majors

Geography majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

Important Skills for Geography & Cartography Majors

Abilities for Geography Majors

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

Important Abilities for geography Majors

What Can You Do With a Geography Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with geography:

Careers Related to Geography & Cartography
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Compliance Managers



Geography Professors






Regulatory Affairs Managers



Wind Energy Project Managers



Cartographers and Photogrammetrists



Supply Chain Managers



Geography & Cartography Major Salary

Average salaries range from $68,000 to $89,000 for careers related to geography. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Geography Major  ( 68000 to 89000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Geography & Cartography Major Jobs

Some careers associated with geography may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Geography & Cartography
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Geography & Cartography Programs

There are 337 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in geography and cartography, with 13 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Geography & Cartography Major Worth It?

The median salary for a geography grad is $81,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 107% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $832,600 after 20 years!

geography and cartography salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Couleur via License

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