Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     



Geographers study the physical world. They use maps, examine biological phenomena, analyze cultural patterns and population growth, as they try to understand how these relate to one another on our huge and diverse planet. They use laboratories, interviews, and data taken from sites of interest all around the world to support their research. They use various technologies and computer programs in their work.

They can use their knowledge in a number of ways. They can impact everything from providing advice about where to open a new mall to explaining to highway builders about the environmental dangers of creating a new mega-highway. Geographers help governments and businesses with development plans, environmental policy, resource exploitation and urban planning. They advise municipal governments on heritage site developments. They are on staff with recreation and parks departments, conservation authorities, non-profit environmental watchdog associations, and private businesses. They advise oil companies, manufacturing companies, and developers about their projects and plans.

Quite often, geographers research and teach at universities. They may teach one area, their area of specialization, and focus on something like soil studies, climate, landforms and plate tectonics, or industry and urban development.
Geographers can be employed developing new mapping programs and technologies for research gathering. They can come up with new techniques for studying climate change, earthquake detection, and land erosion problems.

Geographers spend quite a lot of time working in their offices, but they also spend time traveling throughout the world, going to actual sites to analyze the geographical changes and the effect of humans on the earth. This research is fundamental to their work, as they monitor each bit of the planet, from mountains tops to the ocean floor. Geographers are educated, important scientists, who have had an impact on life in most every area on earth.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Anthropologist
arrow Archaeologist
arrow Archivist
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Simmons College School of Social Work
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Social Work



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Geographers need to be interested in the physical and cultural aspects of Earth. They should be inquisitive, imaginative, and able to find innovative solutions to all sorts of problems and questions. They need to be thorough and methodical in their research as well as good at analyzing various forms of data. Geographers need to be good communicators both verbally and on paper. They must also be able to work well alone and as part of a team with others. They must be able to write papers and to put information about the physical environment, social developments, and cultural information into cohesive, relevant reports.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Advise governments, developers, and watchdog organizations on environmental issues
  • Develop geographical information systems
  • Consult with governments about heritage site plans,
  • Teach and/or conduct research relating to climate, landforms, transportation systems, urban development, industry or different geographical regions.
  • Use technologies, like the geographic information systems (GIS) and image analysis systems (IAS) to track resource management
  • Collect and analyze information on people, communities and the environment
  • Write and present research findings
  • Conduct outdoor fieldwork
  • Prepare maps, graphs and other types of geographic information
  • Geographers spend each day analyzing changes in the earth, especially monitoring human impact through urban development, pollution, and the use of resources in industry. They attend meetings with students, government officials, business people, and journalists, to discuss their studies. They spend some of their time traveling the planet, gathering information, living near the people whose population may be threatened by geographical exploitation or evolution.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Geographers study the entire planet, from the depths of the jungle to the midst of the desert. Therefore, it is no surprise to find geographers at work in many, many places. They are in cities, working in government offices, university laboratories and the head offices of major manufacturers. These geographers usually work regular hours, with holidays and evenings free. Some are found on field projects, near volcanoes, in arctic wastelands, and the middle of urban slums. These geographers work in dangerous conditions, for hours at a time. They spend long stretches of time away form their families and friends.
  • Some geographers work for companies that design geographic information systems, using computers and various technologies. Geographers can work alone, or alongside archaeologists, geologists, demographers, and hydrologists. They may work closely with community leaders, other geographers, and urban planners.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Geographers can work in a number of environments. They can work as consultants, and then choose to go back to school and become professors, teaching and researching at the university level. Geographers can work for international non-profit agencies, monitoring industry and urban planning in developing countries. They can find work as consultants with large industrial or manufacturing firms, or with various government departments.

  Educational Paths  
In order to find work as a geographer, a bachelor's degree in arts or science with a geography major is required. This is the minimum requirement to work as a consultant. To be considered a fully qualified geographer, students will need to complete a master's degree in arts or science, with a specialized focus, like biology or social studies. If they would like to be involved in research at a university level, they will need a PhD.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Syracuse University Library Sciences
Programs Offered:
  • MS in Information Management
  • MS in Library and Information Science

Simmons College School of Social Work
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Social Work

California University of Pennsylvania

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

Programs Offered:
  • Conflict Resolution (Master of Arts) - Online

Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Human Services (MS)

Widener University

Why Choose Widener University?

At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

Programs Offered:
  • Masters of Social Work

Concordia University - Portland

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

Programs Offered:
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: eLearning/Technology Education

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs Offered:
  • Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology
  • Gender Diversity Studies - PhD of Psychology

Pacific Oaks College
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Programs Offered:
  • B.A. Human Development
  • M.A. Human Development

Ohio Christian University
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry - Pastoral Ministry
  • Master of Arts in Ministry - Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Ministry

Post University Online

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education.

Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
  • B.S. in Human Services
  • B.S. in Human Services / Health and Community Services

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2017 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.