Job Description – Geographer
A geographer studies the land, features, inhabitants and phenomena of a specific region or area of the earth. This social scientist may use what he or she learns through this research to help governments and businesses plan where to build homes and roads, respond to disasters and develop marketing strategies.
Geographers can specialize in several different areas of study, but most people who work in this field are physical or cultural geographers. A physical geographer studies the physical aspects of a particular region while a cultural geographer’s focus is on the effect human activities, including economic activities, social characteristics and political organization, have on it.
Travel is a big part of geographers’ lives as their research often takes them to the regions they are studying. If you don’t like traveling, which might include internationally and sometimes to very remote places, this may not be the right career for you.
What Does Geographer Do?
– studying maps, satellite images, aerial photographs and making field observiations in order to gather data
– using qualitative methods, including focus groups and interviews, and quantitative methods, such as statistical analysis, in their research
– writing up and presenting research findings
– using geographic information software to create and modify maps, graphs or diagrams
Geographer Educational Requirements
If you want to work in this occupation, you will generally need a master’s degree in geography. There are some positions available for geographers who have a bachelor’s degree, but they will most likely be limited to government jobs. Someone who has his or her eye on a faculty position at a college or university will definitely need a PhD.
Your degree in geography does not limit you to working in this occupation. Your education will also prepare you for related careers including surveyor, urban or regional planner, geoscientist and cartographer.
Because a geographer must present research findings both in writing and at professional conferences and meetings, he or she should have excellent analytical skills, writing skills and presentation skills. He or she also needs to be able to think critically.
Geographer Salary and Earnings
Geographers earned a median annual salary of $74,760 and a median hourly salary of $35.94 in 2011.
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