Geographer at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Geographer

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Geographer

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
Maryland 170 $85,360 $41
Virginia 90 $82,440 $40
Utah 60 $54,930 $26

Becoming a Geographer

For positions outside of the federal government, geographers will typically need a master's degree. Professors of geography will need a Ph.D. For some mid-level positions in government, businesses, and non-profits, candidates may be able to substitute work experience and GIS proficiency for a master's degree. The top geography research positions will require a Ph.D or a master's degree and extensive previous work experience.

Bachelor's and master's degrees in geography are available from several schools in online delivery formats. The University of Denver offers an online master's of science degree in geographic information science that combines advanced study of GIS, remote sensing, and global positioning systems with courses in human and physical geography. Some of the courses in that program include:

  • Cultural Geography
  • Environment and Development
  • Topics in Physical Geography
  • Introduction to GIS Modeling

Additional certification may help those without a master's degree or Ph.D qualify for advanced jobs in geography. The GIS Certification Institute offers qualified candidates certification as a GIS professional (GISP).