Geographers

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Creative: 79
  • Supported: 79
  • Analytical: 76
  • Social: 58
  • Purpose: 24

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.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Miscellaneous social scientists, including survey researchers and sociologists

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    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.

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    Job Trends for Geographers

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    This occupation supported 1,700 jobs in 2012 and 1,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 17.6%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 29.4% in 2022 to 2,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 1,800, compared with an observed value of 1,400, 22.2% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 0.0% in 2024 to 1,400 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 2,300 jobs for 2024, 64.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.