Who studies the physical and cultural phenomena and examines the environmental features? These tasks fall under the responsibility of geographers. These professionals are responsible for providing people knowledge about the environment. So, geographers collect and examine the environment features, both locally and globally. Depending on what they study and examine, geographers can be categorized into – economic, physical, cultural, urban and regional geographers among others. Each of these geographers has typical job responsibilities to perform.
To do their work efficiently, geographers also use a special technology called the Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The GIS technology is helpful when geographers need to create computerized maps marked with population growth, traffic, natural resources, weather patterns etc. On the basis of this information, geographers provide advice to governments for road development, house developments and landfill projects.
Depending on their preferences and areas of interest, geographers can also choose specialization fields. So, aspiring candidates can choose to become one of the following.
Urban and Transportation Geographers
Training & Educational Requirements
To become a geographer, the standard educational qualification required is either a master’s degree in geography or a doctoral degree in geography. Specialized training in subjects like mathematics and statistics is also required to be successful in this geographical field. Computer proficiency is also essential to perform work geographers do. In addition, these professionals need to keep themselves updated on the latest technology. Internship and field experience provide valuable experience to geographers.
Career Prospects in Geography
Excellent job opportunities await geographers who have higher educational qualifications and carry relevant experience. A GIS background provides candidates an extra edge over others. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for geographer jobs is expected to increase at 6% from the year 2006 through to the year 2016.
Annual Salary of Geographers
Salaries of these professionals vary depending on the work location, the specialization area and the years of experience they carry. Those with an experience of 1-4 years earn an average annual salary of around $44,000. Geographers carrying 5-9 years of experience earn a salary of around $50,000 annually. The salary range increases with growing skill set and experience.
Tip: Do remember to subscribe to ‘The Professional Geographer’. In addition, you can also log on to the official website of the American Association of Geographers. On this website, you can get valuable information about various career possibilities as a geographer.