Skip navigation

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

Where in the Coast Guard? In the Coast Guard: LDO - Meteorology/Oceanography; RL - Special Duty Officer (Oceanography)

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:

Find Training Find Certifications

Job Outlook

Bright Outlook
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
Salary
$74,760
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

Explore More

See more details at O*NET OnLine about geographers.