Also known as Earth Observations Chief Scientist (NASA), GIS Geographer (Geographic Information Systems Geographer), GIS Physical Scientist (Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist), Scientist, Supervisory Geographer
Also known as Earth Observations Chief Scientist (NASA), GIS Geographer (Geographic Information Systems Geographer), GIS Physical Scientist (Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist)
Geographers study the nature and use of areas of the Earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena.
In addition, Geographers 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.
Geographers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:
The above responsibilities are specific to Geographers. More generally, Geographers are involved in several broader types of activities:
The median salary for a Geographer is $85,430, and the average salary is $85,620. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Geographer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.
Many Geographers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Geographers earn less than $53,630 per year, 25% earn less than $66,130, 75% earn less than $102,660, and 90% earn less than $117,100.
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Geographers is expected to change by 6.3%, and there should be roughly 100 open positions for Geographers every year.
Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.
Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Geographer are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Artistic interests.
Geographers typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Also, Geographers typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Lastly, Geographers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Compared to most people, those working as a Geographer tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Working Conditions.
Most importantly, Geographers very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.
Second, Geographers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Lastly, Geographers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.
Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.
In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Geographers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, attention to detail, and dependability.
Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Geographers, ranked by importance:
Many Geographers have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..
Geographers may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Geographers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as geography, education and training, or sociology and anthropology knowledge.
The list below shows several areas in which most Geographers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.
Geographers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.
For example, Geographers need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Geographers, ranked by their relative importance.
Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.
Geographers frequently use skills like reading comprehension, writing, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Geographers, ranked by their relative importance.
The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
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