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Become A Geographer

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Working As A Geographer

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $56,100

    Average Salary

What Does A Geographer Do At U.S. Navy-Agency Wide

* Read and interpret maps, charts, photographs and statistical tabulations.
* Present and illustrate geographic information in narrative and graphic forms.
* Produce comprehensive facility, environmental and utility products and services using georeference and digitized as-builts, floorplans, blueprints, imagery, etc.
* Convert AutoCAD to GIS and GIS to AutoCAD using spatial data transformations for Navy stakeholders.
* Create and maintain symbology comprehensive map products such as Regional Base Maps (RBMs), Regional Installation Maps, utility mapbooks by commodity, Installation Data Catalogs, disaster assessment maps and jurisdictional (fire, police) mapbooks

What Does A Geographer Do At Dewberry

* Assisting engineers in hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, modeling, and floodplain mapping;
* Production of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) and updating related geospatial databases;
* Developing flood risk products and performing flood risk assessments;
* Perform analysis on GIS datasets for flood hazard mapping and risk projects;
* Checking for graphical and technical accuracy of FIRM deliverables and associated reports;
* Coordinating with the project team, project managers, clients, local communities, and other contractors to compile all data necessary to produce the most up-to-date product

What Does A Geographer Do At U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

* Serve as a technical expert, utilizes knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), information systems, and computers to plan, coordinate, and accomplish all mapping, geospatial analysis, and related GIS tasks necessary to plan and execute a variety of construction projects in support of civil and military construction for the Combatant Command's deployed missions and other Federal agencies.
* Oversees GIS Team personnel who are experts in the fields of geography, GIS, cartography, and information management to support Corps of Engineers' projects.
* Provides guidance to GIS personnel on the work to be done, and assists in the planning and execution of significant projects.
* The work involves a wide variety of techniques utilizing current state-of-the-art computer equipment and technology

What Does A Geographer Do At Leidos

* The successful candidate will:
* Utilize GIS tools to assess and analyze digital imagery, geospatial databases, and various sources.
* Use remote sensing, spatial analysis, and GIS tools along with skills
* Perform quality reviews to ensure geospatial and content accuracy.
* Generate visual aids and drafting, editing, and proofreading documents for publishing

What Does A Geographer Do At U.S. Navy-Agency Wide

* Ability to perform spatial data collection using (GPS) or remote sensing techniques in order to college, edit, correct and modify complex geographic data for production or research.
* Maintaining and creating ArcGIS maps, (GRX) maps, Regional maps, for all assigned installations.
* Gathering various sources of data (graphic, geospatial, and tabular) and ties them together to create a comprehensive GIS deliverable

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How To Become A Geographer

Geographers need a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions and for positions within the federal government. Work experience and a master’s degree are typically required for more advanced positions.

Education

Geographers with a bachelor’s degree qualify for most entry-level jobs and for positions with the federal government. Geographers outside of the federal government may need a master’s degree in geography or in geographic information systems (GIS). Some positions allow candidates to substitute work experience or GIS proficiency for an advanced degree. Top research positions usually require a Ph.D. or a master’s degree and several years of relevant work experience.

Most geography programs include courses in both physical and human geography, statistics or math, remote sensing, and GIS. In addition, courses in a specialized area of expertise are becoming increasingly important because the geography field is broad and interdisciplinary. For example, business, economics, or real estate courses are becoming increasingly important for geographers working in private industry.

Positions for geography professors require a Ph.D. For more information, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.

Other Experience

Students and new graduates often gain experience through internships. This type of practical experience allows students to develop new skills, explore their interests, and become familiar with the industry. Internships can be useful for jobseekers, because some employers prefer workers who have practical experience.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not required, most positions require geographers to be proficient in GIS, and certification can demonstrate a level of professional expertise. The GIS Certification Institute offers the GIS professional (GISP) certification for geographers. Candidates may qualify for certification through a combination of education, professional experience, and contributions to the profession, such as publications or participation in conferences. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing also offers certification in GIS. Candidates may qualify for certification with 3 years of experience in GIS, four references, and the completion of a written exam.  

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Geographers commonly analyze information and spatial data from a variety of sources, such as maps, photographs, and censuses. They must then be able to draw conclusions from their analyses of different sets of data.

Communication skills. Geographers must be able to communicate with coworkers; present, explain, and defend their research; and work well on teams.

Computer skills. Geographers must be proficient in GIS programming and database management and should be comfortable creating and manipulating digital images in the software.

Critical-thinking skills. Geographers need critical-thinking skills when doing research because they must choose the appropriate data, methods, and scale of analysis for projects. For example, after reviewing a set of population data, they may determine the implications of a particular development plan.

Writing skills. Geographers often write reports or articles detailing their research findings. They also may need to write proposals so that they can receive funding for their research or projects.

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Geographer jobs

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Real Geographer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Geographer Dataquick Information Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2014 $96,325
Geographer Dataquick Information Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 10, 2014 $96,325
Geographers Conservation International Arlington, VA Feb 28, 2014 $93,413
Geographer Dataquick Information Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Oct 01, 2011 $92,500
Geographers CDM Smith Inc. Philadelphia, PA Sep 25, 2014 $90,376
Geographers MDA Dataquick Information Systems, Inc. San Diego, CA Jul 14, 2010 $90,000
Geographer Corelogic Solutions, LLC San Diego, CA May 03, 2015 $87,339 -
$96,325
Geographer Corelogic Solutions, LLC San Diego, CA Mar 05, 2015 $87,339 -
$96,325
Geographer (Urban Planner) Michael Baker Jr., Inc. Jackson, MS Apr 09, 2010 $85,000
Geographers URS Corporation Gaithersburg, MD Apr 09, 2009 $83,616
Geographers Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Laurel, MD Oct 06, 2011 $82,514 -
$120,000
Geographers MacRosys Research and Technology Arlington, VA Dec 10, 2010 $81,000
Geographers Topcon Positioning Systems Livermore, CA Aug 14, 2012 $80,000
Geographers Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2011 $79,571
Geographers Pima Association of Governments Tucson, AZ May 06, 2009 $69,784
Geographer Galileo Group Inc. Melbourne, FL May 20, 2008 $69,500
Geographers Applied Geospatial Technology Solutions, LLC Hurst, TX Aug 11, 2010 $68,100
Geographers Woolpert, Inc. Dayton, OH Feb 17, 2010 $66,872
Geographers CDM Smith Inc. New York, NY Mar 24, 2014 $66,040
Geographers IHS Global Insight Inc. Eddystone, PA May 13, 2010 $65,000
Geographers Northwestern University Evanston, IL Feb 17, 2010 $64,167
Geographers Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. Raleigh, NC Jan 16, 2008 $62,920
Geographers GIS Workshop, Inc. Lincoln, NE Sep 21, 2010 $55,494
Geographers MDA Federal, Inc. Rockville, MD Feb 15, 2008 $55,453
Geographers World Wildlife Fund Washington, DC Sep 17, 2008 $55,266 -
$58,000
Geographers Jetta Operating Company, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Sep 02, 2014 $55,000
Geographers City of Jacksonville Jacksonville, NC Mar 29, 2010 $54,517
Geographers ESRI Inc. Redlands, CA Oct 11, 2012 $54,059
Geographers Virtex Operating Company, Inc. Corpus Christi, TX Sep 17, 2012 $54,000
Geographers Earth Resources Technology, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Jan 04, 2011 $53,664

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Top Skills for A Geographer

DataManagementGISEsriArcgisModelbuilderGeospatialDataGeographicDataGeographicInformationGoogleMapsDataCollectionFemaUsgsCADSpatialDataPythonGPSStatisticalAnalysisGeo/SqlTechnicalSupportExpediaEmergencyUsace

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Top Geographer Skills

  1. Data Management
  2. GIS
  3. Esri Arcgis Modelbuilder
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • United States Geological Survey - Gathered and interpreted data from various sources around the western United States using ArcGIS
  • Transferred geographic data between census offices.
  • Identify the most effective methods relevant to the production, maintenance, and distribution of geographic information and services.
  • Organized, implemented strategies and participated in extensive field data collection, ground-truthing and reconnaissance activities.
  • Project Geographer for South West Florida Discovery Project in FEMA Region IV.

Top Geographer Employers