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Study the terrain, climates, and resources of different parts of the earth.

Salary Range

$76,860 - $104,710

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

What does a Geographer do?

In Trivial Pursuit, “Geography” is a category — the blue piece of the pie. In real life, however, it can be a career. A Geographer’s job is to answer questions about the earth, including its land, climate, natural resources, and geopolitical boundaries.

As a Geographer, you’re employed most often by governments, universities, and nonprofits to study the world and the places within it. Typically, that means one of two things: If you’re a Physical Geographer, you study the earth, including its topography and terrain, as well as its climate, atmosphere, and ecosystems. By analyzing the earth’s surface, you develop knowledge for almanacs, maps, and zoning laws, and solutions for industries as varied as agriculture, manufacturing, and real estate.

If you’re a Human Geographer, on the other hand, you study not only the earth but also the relationship that humanity has with it. That includes, for instance, how the earth’s physical attributes impact cultural, economic, and social issues. By studying an area’s topography, population, and natural resources, for example, you can help determine the best places to grow crops, build factories, open hospitals, and establish communities.

No matter what kind of Geographer you are, your business card probably won’t say “Geographer.” Instead, it will say something like Teacher, Land Surveyor, Urban Planner, Cartographer, or Climatologist. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter what you’re called; if your work involves the strategic study of land, you’re a Geographer!

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