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Career Details

19-3092.00 - Geographers

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.

Key Facts
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Bright Outlook
Career Details
Green Job
Career Details
Current Employment
Forecasted Employment
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Change in Employment %
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The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Create and modify maps, graphs, or diagrams, using geographical information software and related equipment, and principles of cartography, such as coordinate systems, longitude, latitude, elevation, topography, and map scales.
  • Write and present reports of research findings.
  • Develop, operate, and maintain geographical information computer systems, including hardware, software, plotters, digitizers, printers, and video cameras.
  • Locate and obtain existing geographic information databases.
  • Analyze geographic distributions of physical and cultural phenomena on local, regional, continental, or global scales.
  • Teach geography.
  • Gather and compile geographic data from sources such as censuses, field observations, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and existing maps.
  • Conduct field work at outdoor sites.
  • Study the economic, political, and cultural characteristics of a specific region's population.
  • 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.
  • Collect data on physical characteristics of specified areas, such as geological formations, climates, and vegetation, using surveying or meteorological equipment.
  • Provide geographical information systems support to the private and public sectors.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
  • 100%
    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
  • 83%
    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
  • 81%
    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
  • 74%
    Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 73%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
 History and Archeology
  • 69%
    Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • 69%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 Administration and Management
  • 57%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Philosophy and Theology
  • 55%
    Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • 55%
    Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
 Communications and Media
  • 53%
    Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • 53%
    Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 51%
    Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Rock drills
  • Powered rock-coring drills
 Forestry machinery and equipment
  • Crosscut saws
  • Tree increment borers
 Specialized and recreational vehicles
  • All terrain vehicles ATV
  • Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
 Recreational watercraft
  • Research motorboats
 Measuring and layout tools
  • Automatic levels
  • Laser levels
 Power tools
  • Chain saws
 Crystallography equipment
  • X ray diffraction equipment
  • X ray diffractometers
 Laboratory cooling equipment
  • Sample storage refrigerators
 Laboratory enclosures and accessories
  • Fume hoods
  • Portable fume hoods
 Sampling equipment
  • Sediment samplers
  • Sediment traps
  • Total dissolved solids TDS meters
  • Water samplers
 Laboratory ovens and accessories
  • Gravity convection ovens
  • Drying ovens
 Laboratory furnaces and accessories
  • Gas-mixing furnaces
  • High temperature laboratory box furnaces
  • Muffle furnaces
 Laboratory sieves and sifting equipment and supplies
  • Sieve shakers
  • Sonic sifters
  • Ultrasonic sieving systems
 Weight measuring instruments
  • Electronic precision balances
  • Laboratory analytical balances
 Viewing and observing instruments and accessories
  • Stereo light microscopes
  • Stereo zoom microscopes
  • Stereographic microscopes
  • Video microscopes
  • Phase contrast microscopes
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Cathodoluminescence microscopes
  • Petrographic microscopes
  • Polarizing microscopes
  • Digital imaging microscopes
  • Temperature sensors
 Humidity and moisture measuring instruments
  • Humidity sensors
  • Soil moisture meters
 Electrical measuring and testing equipment and accessories
  • Electromagnetic current meters
  • Mechanical current meters
 Geophysical and geotechnical instruments
  • Demagnetizing equipment
  • Spinner magnetometers
 Soil measuring equipment
  • Laser particle sizers
  • Pressure plate apparatus
  • Dutch augers
  • Grab samplers
  • Hiller corers
  • Livingstone corers
  • Powered vibracorers
  • Russian corers
  • Sediment coring equipment
  • Soil samplers
  • Compaction meters
 Land surveying instruments
  • Theodolites
  • Total stations
 Hydrological instruments
  • Water current meters
 Meteorological instruments
  • Anemometers
  • Sonic anemometers
  • Wind direction sensors
  • Lysimeters
  • Photosynthetically active radiation PAR meters
  • Portable weather stations
 Radar and sonar systems and components
  • Ground penetrating radar GPR
 Spectroscopic equipment
  • Atomic emission spectroscopes
 Electrochemical measuring instruments and accessories
  • pH analyzers
  • Conductivity meters
  • Dissolved oxygen meters
  • Salinity meters
  • Laptop computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Desktop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Tablet computers
 Computer data input devices
  • Digitizers
  • Flatbed scanners
  • Handheld data loggers
  • Portable data collectors
 Computer printers
  • Large format printers
  • Plotters
  • Digital cameras
  • Video cameras
  • Digital video cameras
 Audio and visual equipment
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Content authoring and editing software
  • ACD Systems Canvas
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PhotoshopHOT
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Golden Software Grapher
  • Lemkesoft GraphicConverter
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
 Data management and query software
  • Scientific Software Group RiverMorph
 Industry specific software
  • Autodesk AutoCADHOT
  • Groundwater Vistas
  • IBM SPSS StatisticsHOT
  • MinitabHOT
  • Pattern searching software
  • RockWare MODFLOW
  • Systat Software SigmaPlot
  • The MathWorks MATLABHOT
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
 Network applications software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
 Information exchange software
  • Caliper Maptitude
  • Clark Labs IDRISI Andes
  • ESRI ArcGIS softwareHOT
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Geographic information system GIS softwareHOT
  • Geographic resources analysis support system GRASS
  • Golden Software Surfer
  • ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • MapInfo MapMarker
  • Martin D Adamiker's TruFlite
  • Trimble Pathfinder Office
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Related Programs
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Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Brightpoint Community College
Eastern Shore Community College
Germanna Community College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Rappahannock Community College
Southside Virginia Community College
Tidewater Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Virginia Western Community College
Wytheville Community College
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Jobs related to this career may be found on or on the Google Job Search page.