Public Sector
Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

Geographer job description: If you love maps, researching new places, and analyzing data, a career as a Geographer in the public sector might be perfect for you. Geographers use data and technology to gather, organize, and analyze information about the earth's surface, climate, and culture. They work with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private industries to develop land-use plans, manage natural resources, or provide disaster relief. They use GIS (Geographic Information System) software to map and visualize data to solve complex problems, design new infrastructures, or evaluate a region's economic health. To be a Geographer, you'll need a bachelor's or master's degree in geography, cartography, or a related field, and excellent technical skills. You should be detail-oriented, analytical, and have a passion for geography and mapping. Geographers work in offices, labs, or out in the field, and may also travel to remote locations.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collect and analyze data about the Earth's surface and its physical and human characteristics
  • Use geographic information systems (GIS) software to create maps and visual representations of data
  • Work with planners and policymakers to provide information and analysis for land use planning, zoning regulations, and transportation planning
  • Research and evaluate the impact of natural disasters, climate change, and human activity on the environment
  • Conduct site assessments and analyze environmental and economic factors to determine the best locations for facilities or projects
  • Collaborate with government agencies and community organizations to develop plans and policies for conservation and sustainable development
  • Communicate complex geographic data and analysis to non-expert audiences through reports, presentations, and public outreach
  • Contribute to inter-agency and interdisciplinary projects on topics such as emergency management, urban planning, and resource management
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest GIS and geospatial technologies and techniques to improve efficiency and accuracy in work duties.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a geographer in the public sector industry, you need a combination of education and experience. Education-wise, you typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in geography, environmental science, or a related field. Some employers may require a master's degree or higher, especially for specialized roles. Experience-wise, you need to have practical knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, as well as experience working with geographic data, analyzing it, and interpreting it. It is also beneficial to have experience working in the public sector, as this will give you an understanding of government policies, regulations, and procedures.

Salary Range

Geographer salary range in the Public Sector industry varies based on experience, education, and location. According to Payscale, the median annual salary for a Geographer in the United States is $60,000 with a range between $40,000 - $96,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for Geographers in the Federal Executive Branch is $88,330. In Canada, the average salary for a Geographer in the government sector is CAD 74,480 per year according to Neuvoo. In the UK, Indeed reports average salaries for Geographers in the public sector ranging from £24,000 - £55,000 per year. Overall, a Geographer in the Public Sector industry can expect to earn a competitive salary.


  1. Payscale:
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
  3. Neuvoo:
  4. Indeed:

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Geographer in the Public Sector industry seems to be growing over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of geographers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for data, mapping, and analysis to develop or refine government policies for transportation, land use, and natural resources management. 

Furthermore, the public sector is also looking for geographers with skills in geographic information systems (GIS), database management, and data visualization, which are critical for informed decision-making. The geographer’s role in the public sector is likely to be essential in addressing major social, economic, and environmental issues, such as climate change, urbanization, and natural disasters. 

Therefore, the future looks bright for geographers in the public sector, and individuals with a geographic background have a variety of organizations to consider, ranging from federal agencies and international organizations to local governments and non-profit organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is a Geographer in the Public Sector industry?

A: A Geographer in the Public Sector industry is a professional who studies the Earth and its land, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. They analyze data, develop maps, and provide geographic information to assist in planning, resource management, and decision-making for public sector organizations.

Q: What kind of work does a Geographer in the Public Sector industry do?

A: A Geographer in the Public Sector industry typically researches and compiles data on physical and cultural features, such as population, climate, land use, and transportation. They create maps and other visual representations of geographic information, analyze data using specialized software and statistical techniques, and provide guidance to organizations on how to best utilize their resources.

Q: What skills do I need to become a Geographer in the Public Sector industry?

A: As a Geographer in the Public Sector industry, you'll need strong analytical, writing, and communication skills. You should also have knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and data analysis tools. Good time-management, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are also important.

Q: What kind of education is needed to become a Geographer in the Public Sector industry?

A: Most positions as a Geographer in the Public Sector industry require a bachelor's degree in Geography, Environmental Studies, or a related field. A master's degree may be required for more advanced positions. Continuing education and professional development are also essential to keep up with advancements in technology and changes in the field.

Q: What kind of organizations hire Geographers in the Public Sector industry?

A: Organizations that hire Geographers in the Public Sector industry include federal, state, and local government agencies, non-profits, and private companies that provide geographic information services. Examples of these organizations include the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and consulting firms.

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