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Geographers

Also called: Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Program Director (GIS Program Director), Earth Observations Chief Scientist (NASA), Environmental Affairs Corporate Director

What they do:
Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants, and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
On the job, you would:
  • Write and present reports of research findings.
  • Create and modify maps, graphs, or diagrams, using geographical information software and related equipment, and principles of cartography such as coordinate systems, longitude, latitude, elevation, topography, and map scales.
  • Gather and compile geographic data from sources including censuses, field observations, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and existing maps.

Knowledge

Math and Science
  • geography
  • sociology and anthropology
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
  • history and archeology
Engineering and Technology
  • computers and electronics
Education and Training
  • teaching and course design

Skills

Basic Skills
  • writing things for co-workers or customers
  • reading work related information
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by writing
  • communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • use rules to solve problems
Math
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Innovation
  • Initiative

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Map creation software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • MapInfo MapMarker
Analytical or scientific software
  • SAS software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
Graphics or photo imaging software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite

Education

Education: (rated 5 of 5)
master's degree or
bachelor's degree
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$74,750
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about geographers.