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Geographers

Geographers
Quick Facts : Geographers*
2010 Median Pay$72,800
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20121,600
Job Outlook35% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change600


Geographers study the earth and its land, features, and inhabitants. They study the physical or human geographic characteristics or both of a region, ranging in scale from local to global. Geographers also examine political or cultural structures as they relate to geography.

What Geographers Do

  • Gather geographic data through field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and censuses
  • Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other qualitative methods in their research
  • Use quantitative methods, such as statistical analysis, in their research
  • Write reports and present research findings
  • Assist, advise, or lead others in using GIS and geographic data

Work Environment

Most geographers work for the federal government. Many geographers work full time during regular business hours. Some do fieldwork, which may include travel to foreign countries or remote locations.
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Job Outlook

Employment of geographers is expected to grow 35 percent from 2010 to 2020, but because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 600 new jobs over the 10-year period.
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Pay

The average salary of geographers in May 2010 was $72,800.
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Geographers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Geographers

72800

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

59516.2857

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Geographers*
Percent Change in Employment

Geographers

37.5

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

13.36232967887606

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Geographers

Geographers need a master's degree for most positions. Those with a bachelor's degree may qualify for some entry-level jobs, but these often require previous geography experience or training in using geographic information system (GIS) technology.
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