How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Geographer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $74,920
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute
  • Green Jobs
    Career Attribute

Geographers study and research Earth’s physical land forms, climates, soils, animals and plants.  They also study human effects and implications on the Earths regions of land.

Recommended Schools

What is a Geographer?

The following responsibilities are common for Geographers:

  • Gathers geographic research through field studies, maps, photos, satellite images and census data
  • Creates and modifies maps graphs and diagrams to show accurate representation of certain areas
  • Analyzes physical distribution and characteristics of land masses
  • Uses geographic information system (GIS) or global positioning systems (GPS) technology to survey, collect and display data

A Day In The Life

Geographers study the world and its land masses, its land features and its living inhabitants.

They will examine and document the physical properties of a certain location.  They then gather data from a specific location from fieldwork, maps, satellites, laser scans and census information.  They take this data and imput it into software like geographic implementation systems (GIS) and using mathematical euations and statistical methods to analyze, map and understand the data collected.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time position.  This job also requires travel for fieldwork, often time to different countries and remote locations.

Projected Job Growth

The demand for geographers is on the rise.  With the increase in environmental and government legislation there will be a constant need for people in interested in pursing this career.

Typical Employers

The majority of all geographers work for the federal government like the BLM or USGS.  While others work as consultants for engineering and architecture firms.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Geographer

A bachelor’s degree along with GIS and GPS training is required for this position.  Geography programs offer courses in physical geography, geology, urban and human geography, remote sensing and GIS and GPS courses.  Gaining experience through fieldwork, internships and volunteering is also important.

Geographer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Geographer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Geographer's can make an average annual salary of $74,920, or $36 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $58,570 or $28 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #170 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Geographer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Geographers

  • 17%   Doctorate
  • 37%   Masters
  • 36.8%   Bachelors
  • 3.9%   Associates
  • 4.8%   College
  • 0.3%   High School
  • 0.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Geographer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 1,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Geographers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 800 -100 0%
Engineering services 100 100 ---
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 100 --- ---

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