What Can You Do With a Geography Degree?

What Can You Do With a Geography Degree?

Key Takeaways

  • Proficiency in spatial and analytical skills are crucial for the success of geography degree graduates.

  • A geography degree can open career opportunities in fields like public administration, education, business, transportation, and tourism.

  • Although there are a wide range of positions that geography degree graduates can work in, geospatial information scientists are one of the highest paid positions.

Pursuing a geography degree opens the door to various rewarding careers that allow you to apply your spatial and analytical skills to make an impact. From consulting on economics to environmental conservation and sustainability roles, a geography education empowers graduates with the knowledge to tackle complex problems at local and global scales. Read on to learn more about the diverse paths and purpose-driven work available with a geography degree.

cartographer working on maps

What Can You Do With a Geography Degree?

A degree in geography can lead to employment opportunities in various industries, such as public administration, education, business, industry, transportation, and tourism. Some of the most popular and well-remunerated jobs that you can pursue with a degree in geography include:

  • Geographer
  • Economic Consultant
  • Environmental Expert
  • Cartographer

Your passion for human or physical geography will determine the course of your career. To build contacts and gain insight into the types of work that are accessible, try to obtain work experience in the field that you have selected.

A research university can be a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees, which are those in science, technology, engineering, or math. Students will benefit from cutting-edge technologies and innovation in a rich and dynamic campus atmosphere. The top research universities give students a chance to choose from a wide range of well-funded degree programs and research opportunities.


Geographers examine Earth’s characteristics and structures to collect information for the Geographic Information System (GIS). This system is a database technology that geographers use to store, visualize, analyze, and retrieve information about the Earth.

So, geographers are responsible for drafting reports, making maps, conducting interviews and surveys, and working closely with the GIS technology.

The average yearly salary for a geographer is $84,173.

Economic Consultants

Economists examine financial, political, and social aspects while assessing prospects for improving an organization. They conduct a great deal of research for the organization, which makes it possible to prepare in-depth reports and strategic plans to address its financial difficulties.

These professionals earn up to $120,000 on average each year.

two cartographers working together

Environmental Consultants

Environmental consultants work with businesses, offering advice on environmental issues. Their areas of expertise include developing rules for appropriate waste disposal, offering advice on green manufacturing, and carrying out sustainable energy projects. They also provide experience in handling natural disasters, guaranteeing that businesses ethically handle environmental issues.

Their yearly average salary is approximately $96,000 which depicts their relevance in the geographical sector.


Since cartographers perform in-depth studies and collect data to ensure accuracy, they are essential to constructing maps. They maintain accuracy in mapping by applying mathematical knowledge and sophisticated computer algorithms, which help to produce accurate and trustworthy cartographic representations.

They typically earn an annual salary of $71,000.

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What is the average salary for a geography graduate?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, the median salary for geographers was $81,970. The median salary for all income earners was significantly less than the $63,300 earned by the lowest-paid 25% of geographers annually.

A park ranger makes an average of $14.12 per hour and is considered a protector of natural habitats in geography occupations. With an annual salary of $70,039, landscape architects use their creative expertise to build parks, playgrounds, and gardens. Urban planners assess land and create plans for public and residential development. Their yearly compensation is $70,126.

Geography specialists are essential educators, making $14.67 an hour on average. They share information about the environment on Earth, discuss issues like climate change, and emphasize environmental conservation. Travel writers create interesting content for newspapers, blogs, and journals for $26.22 per hour.

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Other Salary Positions

With an hourly rate of $18.13, surveyors play a major role in building planning procedures. Their areas of expertise are boundary determination through property measurement, data provision for engineers and construction workers, and legal paperwork. Geospatial analysts, earning an annual average of $45,812, analyze geographical data, translating it into digital formats.

Market researchers make $56,655 annually and are experts in gathering and interpreting data to help businesses make well-informed decisions. Librarians are paid $59,122 annually to carefully arrange and classify library materials.

Real estate appraisers, who make $60,548 annually, assess properties and buildings and use geography and market expertise to establish value. With an annual salary of $63,318, transportation managers are essential in organizing and monitoring shipments to guarantee timely, safe, and economical delivery.

teacher holding a globe in a classroom
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Factors Affecting the Average Salary of a Geography Graduate

The average salary for a geography graduate is undulating for several factors, including:

  • Specialization: The area of geography chosen, like environmental science or urban planning, impacts salary; specialized skills often lead to higher compensation.
  • Experience: Professional experience depth influences salary, with seasoned graduates and successful track records often earning more.
  • Location: Salary varies by location, considering living costs and demand for geography skills in different regions.
  • Industry Demand: Salary levels are influenced by the demand for geography skills in technology or government sectors.
  • Education Level: Higher education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, can boost earning potential and access advanced roles.
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What is the highest-paying geography job?

Geospatial information scientists and cartographers are at the forefront of lucrative careers in geography, boasting the highest salaries. Their specialized skills in mapping, data analysis, and spatial technology define their professional prowess and amplify their earning potential, making them critical contributors to the evolving niche of geographical sciences.

Which are the best government jobs in geography?

Prominent government roles in geography involve urban and regional planners, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists. These professionals play essential roles in policy formulation, resource management, and fostering sustainable development. Their expertise is integral to creating resilient communities, optimizing land use, and mitigating environmental impact for a more sustainable future.

What are the needed skills to work in the geography field?

Proficiency in essential competencies, such as data analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), is essential for success in geography. Crucial skills include critical thinking, efficient communication, and understanding spatial relationships.

Having a degree in geography opens up a world of prospects. There are many opportunities, from reshaping urban areas and influencing environmental regulations to making contributions to business, industry, and technology. A geography degree offers a broad skill set that empowers people to navigate and positively impact our interconnected world.

Liberal arts colleges can be a great option for students seeking a geography degree. Liberal arts colleges offer a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting for a highly individualized educational experience.

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