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.
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.
Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much a geographer currently earns in your city.
A Day in Geographer's Life:
On a typical day geographer's tasks might include:
- 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
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Social Scientists, Other, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geographers.htm (visited July 27, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Geographer, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/19-3092.00 (visited July 27, 2012).