What can I do as a Geographer?

Geography is a very attractive major for today's students.  The field provides marketable skills and the broad perspectives on environment and society that enable graduates to move beyond entry-level positions.  For similar reasons, geography provides a sound foundation for students who plan to enter graduate work in a variety of fields, from geography to business, land use planning, law, and even medicine.

Geography provides training in geospatial technologies (geographic information systems, computer mapping, remote sensing, GPS, etc.). This high-growth industry generates tens of billions of dollars in annual revenues for companies around the world.  Geospatial technologies are one of the three largest employment growth fields identified by the Department of Labor, and they are providing 75,000 new job hires per year.

The potential for practicing geography in private enterprise and in government has grown considerably in recent years, although often such positions are not designated with the title of geographer.  Many geographers, however, work in the private and public sectors.  Below is a list of positions held by some of them.  It is impossible, however, to display and maintain salaries for these positions as they vary by experience and region.

 Return to Professor Bertolas' Main Web Page.

"The Geographer" by Johannes Vermeer (c. 1668-1669)

What if you want to teach Geography as a career?

Consider looking into an internship while still in school.

Potential Careers in Geography for Geography Majors from Matt Rosenberg at About.com

US Dept of Labor sample occupational outlook for: geographers , cartographers, geoscientists.

Also, look here for useful information on careers as a Social Scientist.


Aerial Photo Interpreter
Air Pollution Specialist for a regional air quality district
Air Quality Analyst
Airline Cargo Marketing Executive
Airlines Researcher
Appraiser for a real estate corporation
Area Specialist
Avalanche Specialist in a U.S. National Forest


Biologist (consulting )
Budget Planning and Policy Manager for a major metropolis
Business Analyst in a corporation

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Cartographic Editor
Cartographic Technician
Community Development Analyst
Computer Mapping Specialist
Computer Specialist for a U.S. National Park
Conservation Education Coordinator for a state

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Data Analyst for an insurance company
Demographer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Demographic Analyst for a county
Deputy Assistant Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation
Director of Computer Assisted Reporting for a major metropolitan daily newspaper
Director of Industrial Development for a port authority
Director of Planning and Zoning for a township

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Economic Development Analyst
Energy Analyst
Engineer, Civil
Engineer, Consulting
Engineer, Photogrammetric
Environmental Manager
Environment Planner for a state department of transportation
Environmental Scientist for a state department of natural resources Field Data Capture Specialist

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Geographer at the Smithsonian Institution
Geographer at the U.S. Bureau of the Census
Geographer at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Geographer at the U.S. Economic Development Administration
Geographer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Geographer at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Geographer at the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
Geographer for a water management district
Geographer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Geographer for the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center
Geographer for the U.S. Forest Service
Geographer, Consulting
Geographer in a corporation
Geographic Reference and Map Librarian
Geographic Specialist at the U.S. Department of State
Geography Education Specialist for an encyclopedia publisher
Geologist for a state department of environment and conservation
Geomorphologist at the U.S. National Biological Service
Geopolitical Specialist for a software corporation

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GIS Analyst in a corporation
GIS Coordinator for a county
GIS Coordinator of Environmental Studies
GIS Implementation Specialist for a state library
GIS Program Manager for a county dept of information and administrative services

Want to check the growth of job opportunities in GIS, apply for a job, or just submit your resume?
               Try GISJobs.com or the GIS Jobs Clearinghouse.


Hotel Concierge
Hydrogeologist (Consulting)
Hydrologist for a state soil and water conservation agency

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Insurance Analyst
Intelligence Analyst at the U.S. National Photo Interpretation Center
Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency


Land Scientist (Consulting)
Land Use Planner for a city
Location Analyst

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Map Analyst
Map Librarian
Map Curator
Mapping Designer for a corporation
Mapping Specialist for a commercial mortgage firm
Market Development Manager for a software corporation
Marketing Analyst
Meteorologist at the U.S. National Weather Service
Meteorologist, Television
Microcomputer specialist in a corporation


Natural Historian, U.S. Soil Conservation Service

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Peace Corps Volunteer
Physical Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey
Physical Scientist for the U.S. Defense Mapping Agency
Planner, Community
Planner, County
Planner, Resources
Planner, Transportation
Planner, Urban
Planner for a consolidated government
Planning Information Director for a county
Political Analyst
Pollution Control Specialist for a metropolitan area
Principal Scientist in a corporation
Project Planner for a county

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Ranger in a U.S. National Park
Real Estate Appraiser
Real Estate Planner
Real Estate Research Analyst for a corporation
Real Estate Research Director
Recycling Coordinator for a state
Redevelopment Coordinator for a city
Regional Environmentalist for a state department of transportation
Regional Planner
Remote Sensing Specialist
Remote Sensing Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey
Research Analyst for a regional gas and electric company
Research Meteorologist, U.S. National Climatic Data Center
Research Scientist, U. S. National Weather Service
Resource Development Director at the Canadian Bureau of Indian and North Affairs
Resource Economist
Resources Planner for as state
Risk Analyst in a corporation

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Sales Facilities Research Analyst
Site Researcher
Soil Conservationist for a state natural resource conservation service
Supervising Topographic Engineer for a state geological survey


Teacher of Geography (click here for information on teaching Geography as a career)
Tourism Developer
Traffic Management Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Transportation Planner for a county
Transportation Planner for a county transit district
Travel Consultant and Planner

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Water Conservation Planner for a city water system
Water Resource Specialist for a state environment department
Water Resources Planner, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Web Master
Wetlands Conservation Supervisor for a reclamation authority


Zoning Administrator
Zoning Enforcement Inspector for a township
Zoning Inspector for a city

Richard G. Boehm, Careers in Geography
  National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.
 The Association of American Geographers

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