Geographers

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Supervisory Geographer
  • Scientist
  • Research Coordinator
  • Political Geographer
  • Physical Geographer
  • Imagery Analyst
  • Glaciologist
  • GIS Physical Scientist (Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist)
  • GIS Geographer (Geographic Information Systems Geographer)
  • Geomorphologist
show all

What They Do

  • Provide consulting services in fields such as resource development and management, business location and market area analysis, environmental hazards, regional cultural history, and urban social planning.
  • Develop, operate, and maintain geographical information computer systems, including hardware, software, plotters, digitizers, printers, and video cameras.
  • Provide geographical information systems support to the private and public sectors.
  • Conduct field work at outdoor sites.
  • Locate and obtain existing geographic information databases.
  • Collect data on physical characteristics of specified areas, such as geological formations, climates, and vegetation, using surveying or meteorological equipment.
  • Study the economic, political, and cultural characteristics of a specific region's population.
  • Teach geography.
  • Gather and compile geographic data from sources including censuses, field observations, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and existing maps.
  • Write and present reports of research findings.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IAS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic and Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Achievement and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $62,120 with most people making between $33,570 and $98,670

Outlook

2.50%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 40 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 50 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 1 openings due to growth and about 2 replacement openings for approximately 3 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education