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By definition, a geographer is someone who has majored in the science of the Earth, its physical attributes and how humans impact those attributes. For those who hold a degree in geography, it can be tough to find a job, not because there is a lack of availability, but because they are rarely advertised as such. Jobs in geography can be governmental on a local or federal level, and geographers are often hired by private companies. Very rarely do geographers go into business for themselves, but they may be hired by any number of companies to do any number of things--the world around us is of concern to a great many people.
Geographer jobs are generally split into two categories, the study of physical geography and the study of humans' effect on the physical characteristics of an area. A physical geographer job might encompass being a city planner or working on a local zoning board, or perhaps a map analyst or land surveyor. Governments are big employers of geographers, as are real estate companies and insurance companies. Physical geographer jobs rarely take into consideration the people who live in the area or how they impact it.
Social geographer jobs are often found with tourism bureaus, historical associations or political organizations. Jobs of this variety may measure whether the physical attributes of an area contribute to poverty, health, quality of life and the culture of an area. Again, the government is a big employer, but so are private and non-profit organizations.
Geographers of both sorts are trained to use a technological system called GIS, or geographic information system. GIS is a mixture of hardware and software that makes geographer jobs easier to perform. GIS integrates maps and statistics, and allows the user to analyze and interpret them in a user-friendly computerized interface. Geographer jobs often require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree, although post-graduate studies greatly increase a person's chances of finding a well-paying, high-ranking job.
Geography teacher jobs are hard to come by, as the subject is generally taught at a university level. Those who have worked in the field for years generally get these jobs, although some geographer jobs may lead to teaching social studies and sciences at a lower level. A person might also find a geography teacher job with a private organization, teaching the public about their surroundings and/or the conservation thereof.
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