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Geography: Careers

Geographer -- Occupational Outlook Handbook


geographers image
Geographers often present their research to colleagues or other stakeholders.
Quick Facts: Geographers
2015 Median Pay $74,260 per year
$35.70 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 1,400
Job Outlook, 2014-24 -2% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2014-24 0

What Geographers Do

Geographers study the Earth and its land, features, and inhabitants. They also examine phenomena such as political or cultural structures and study the physical and human geographic characteristics of regions ranging in scale from local to global.

Work Environment

More than half of all geographers are employed by the federal government. Most work full time during standard business hours. Many geographers do fieldwork, which may include travel to foreign countries or remote locations.

How to Become a Geographer

Geographers need a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions and for positions within the federal government. Work experience and a master’s degree are typically required for more advanced positions.


The median annual wage for geographers was $74,260 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of geographers is projected to decline 2 percent from 2014 to 2024. Geographers should face strong competition for jobs as the number of candidates is expected to exceed the number of available positions.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for geographers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of geographers with similar occupations


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