Geographer Career

What Do People Think You Do?

When I tell people that I’m a Geographer, they immediately think I’m a teacher, which is one out of many job occupations that Geographers are working in.

What Do You Really Do?

I work as a Geographic Information Specialist on mapping projects with the United States Geological Survey and various Government Agencies and non-profits. As a GIS professional, I collect and analyze data obtained in the field and place it onto a digital and paper map.

A Day In The Life

My day entails doing a lot of research online in the office and the field. My job is 80 percent in the office and 20 in the field. When I first get to work, I check my emails to see if there are any special projects I need to work on. Then, I log on to the project task portal to select a mapping project that needs to be completed. After selecting a project, I began collecting all the required data needed to complete the task. If I can’t find the data I need online, I must go out into the field and collect the data using a variety of field mapping instruments and techniques. Once I’ve collected all the data for my maps, I must analyze it, so it will effectively communicate the information to the map reader. After I’ve completed the map, I save it onto the Enterprise Geographic Information system so that it can be validated for quality assurance. I then go back into the Map projects portal to select another project to work on. I continue this routine for up to 8 hours, stopping only for my hour lunch and 15-minute breaks. The atmosphere in the office is relaxed, and I get to work with passionate people who also share a love for making and analyzing maps.

What’s The Average Income?

Entry-level Geographers make anywhere from $40,000-$50,000 per year. The more experienced Geographers make anywhere from $60,000-$100,000 per year.

What Education If Any Is Needed?

A person will typically need a 4-year degree from an accredited College or University. However, you can get your foot in the door with an associate’s degree and a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. To be competitive in this career field, I would advise aspiring Geographers to obtain a Master’s degree.

Something Important To Know

I think people who are interested in becoming a Geographer should know that it isn’t easy. Most people’s opinion about Geography is that it’s only about naming and describing things. However, they soon realize that Geography is a multi-discipline subject. You have to know a little something about everything. With the advancement of Computer Cartography, today’s Geographers have to be well-versed in Computer Programming as well.

Scroll to Top