Jobs for Geographers
“If you want to make a difference to the world, studying geography is a good place to start. Geography careers offer opportunities to develop solutions to some of the most pressing issues for modern society, including climate change, natural disasters, overpopulation, urban expansion, and multicultural integration.”
Overview of Careers in Geography
- Check out the Jobs & Careers section on the web page of the Association of American Geographers
- More specific information can also be found on the website of the Royal Geographic Society.
- Geographic Information Science careers are highlighted in this article in Occupational Outlook Quarterly.
- Another nice breakdown on whatcanidowiththismajor.com
Sample Job titles of Geographers
Include, (but are certainly not limited to): Aerial Photo Interpreter, Cartographer, Climatologist, Community Development Specialist, Demographer, Ecologist, Economic Development Analyst, Editorial Assistant, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Planner, Geographic Information Systems Analyst, Health Planner, Land Economist, Land Use Planner, Map Analyst, Map Editor, Medical Geographer, Mortgage Investment Analyst, Political Analyst, Recreational Resources Manager, Regional Planner, Soil Conservationist, Surveyor, Teacher, Travel Agent, Transportation Planner, Trade Analyst, and Urban Planner.
How to use this page
This page is designed not just for people currently on the job market. Instead it is meant to be used as a tool, one that is dynamic and allows you to see the variety of positions that you might qualify for as both a recent graduate and as someone who has more experience. Many of the postings are for people fresh out of school. Others are mid-level positions, and there are usually some that, while far beyond the level of a recent graduate, might give you an idea of what is possible down the line. No matter what stage you are at, freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, second year senior, recent alum or beyond, this page should give you a sense of what is possible.
Please keep in mind that most of these jobs are in the Pacific Northwest, and are but a smattering of what is out there. Use the search engines at the bottom of the page AND do not be afraid to network. 80% of jobs are never advertised. They are filled by people who know people. Attend department events. Join Geography Club. Talk to your professors and GTFs. Do informational interviews (contact Leslie McLees firstname.lastname@example.org for info). You never know when you name will get to the right person!
Current positions being advertised
This page contains links to current job opportunities for Geographers. We will update this page as often as we can to take down expired posting and add news one. If you know of a posting that could go here, please email Leslie McLees, the Undergraduate Coordinator at email@example.com
Permanent Internship Programs
- National Park Service internships!
- Young Leaders in Climate Change internships… in national parks all around the US! My goodness, there are so many!
- United Nations Internship Programme. Soooooo cool!
- UNICEF Internships.
- Federal Internship Program through The Washington Center. You’ll have to wander around a bit on this site as there are so many different ones. Not a bad problem to have, though.
- Invasive Species Internship with Eradication Nation in Vancouver, WA.
- The Society of American Foresters has great links on internships and jobs for recent grads on their website.
Some Volunteer Opportunities
Jobs in the Department
The Geography Department Map By Northwest group is now advertising jobs. If you are interested in mapping or in conducting research in physical or human geography, go to this link, search for geography in the organization name, and apply!
InfoGraphics is looking for a PhD Student Assistant to start Fall 2017.
Jobs on campus
The Zero Waste Program on campus is hiring workers.
Jobs beyond UO
(One of the listserves I am on sends OUTREACH notices. This is generally government jobs that will be advertised, but they are gauging initial interest. If you are interested in these jobs, there is a from to fill out. I’ve heard it can give you an inside track on the job. When the job becomes advertised, I will also post that).
Also, make sure you scroll down to the search engines below. Practice typing in keywords like “community,” “technician,” “development,” or whatever into things like USAjobs (which has specific listing for recent grads). Practice looking for jobs and honing in your specific search terms.
- Some long term job openings for Social Scientists, Community Planners, and, believe it or not, Geographers!! (I think you apply and they are taking lots of people over a long time) in Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri. Closes April 18th (2017).
- Expedia is hiring Geographers again. NOT A GIS Position!
- An Oil Spill Contingency Plan Compliance Specialist for the Department of Ecology in Lacey, Washington (near Olympia!). Continuous hire! No closing date…
- CAD/GIS Technician for Sam O. Hirota, Inc. in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- They are also hiring a Land Survey Field Crew member.
- The Department of Ecology in Union Gap in Yakima County, Washington, is hiring a Technical Unit Supervisor, a Hydrogeologist.
- Idaho Department of Transportation is hiring a GIS Analyst in Boise.
- The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky is hiring an Energy Efficient Enterprises Program Coordinator.
- SWCA Environmental Consultants in Portland is hiring a Wetland Scientist.
- Tetra Tech in Portland is hiring a part-time GIS technician, entry-level.
- The University of Hawaii Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, located in Hanapepe, Kauai, is looking for a GIS Analyst and Database Assistant.
- The Idaho Transportation Department is hiring a GIS Analyst in Boise.
- The Department of Ecology in Washington State is hiring a Web Content Specialist.
- EDF Renewable Energy in San Diego, California, is hiring a GIS Analyst.
- The Department of Fish & Wildlife in Washington State is hiring a Scientific Tech. Great entry-level for biophysical geographers. Closes Feb 9th.
- The Washington State Dept of Fish and Wildlife is also hiring a Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Okanagan County. Closes Feb 13th.
- Bay West, and Environmental Solutions firm, is hiring a GIS Analyst for an environmental remediation project in Umatilla, Oregon.
- The Washington Trails Association is hiring for the summer 2017 season. This page also has a few permanent jobs attached.
Useful search engines to keep an eye on…
The sites in this section are search engines with different focuses.
Governementjobs.com. Descriptive title. Tons of great jobs.
Idealist is a search engine full of jobs and internships appealing to those who want to save the world. Some fantastic opportunities to do so!
GISCafe posts not just jobs, but info on industry as well.
Indeed.com is a fabulous resource for people looking for jobs and internships all over the world.
The North American Association for Environmental Education has tons of jobs all over the US. Many are for people right out of college.
And for general government jobs, each state has a website, like this one for Oregon, that posts all jobs
State of Oregon Job Seekers Website. Tons of jobs, though you’ll have to sift through. This will link to a lot of government jobs.
Randstad is a job search firm that specializes in tech jobs.
Socialsciencesjobs.com is a really flexible site focused on things that geographers would want to do.
Volunteer Match allows you to pick what you care about and they find organizations that need your help. Win-win!
Zero Waste Program here at UO has a green jobs page.
Businesses/ Non-Profits/ Government entities to keep an eye on…
American Red Cross. Jobs all over the place.
Apple hires us all the time!
The Capitol Lands Trust in Olympia has interesting positions.
The City of Eugene is a great place to check out for local jobs.
The City of Portland jobs site. for those who want to head a little north.
David Evans and Associates (Creates innovative and sustainable design solutions for transportation, land development, energy, and water projects). Tons of jobs.
Department of Natural Resources in Washington is constantly sending emails to recruit for jobs.
The Department of Fish & Wildlife in Washington State is always posting technician jobs, some seasonal and temporary, and some permanent. These are fantastic positions to get some field experience. Keep an eye on their careers website.
EcoDistricts: A Portland non-profit working towards sustainable cities.
ESRI Careers page. Tons.
Great Basin Research Institute partners with different government agencies and NGOs to provide stewardship, education, and more.
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in Portland provides services to address the needs of those populations in Oregon and SW Washington.
National Geographic has a ton of opportunities doing all sorts of stuff. You may not start out as a lead cartographer or writer, but there are many ways to get your foot in the door. Start looking around here.
The Nature Conservancy has tons of jobs. Visit their website here.
The Oceana Institute hires all levels and kinds of positions all over the world.
The Ocean Conservancy has several jobs in Portland and Anchorage, as well as several openings in DC. Check out their jobs website.
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife jobs website.
Pierce County, Washington (think Tacoma area) has tons of jobs on their website.
Portland Metro (A council of governments institutions you’ve heard of if you are from the area) has a jobs website with tons of offerings.
Quantum Spatial is a private organization that provides mapping services all over the country! And they continually hire GIS and Cart folks all over. Keep an eye on this one for a private industry job.
Sanborn Maps, a big industry player in the mapping and air photo worlds.
Seattle Parks Foundation has a few job openings, and they work with people to provide volunteer experience. Here’s their website.
The Society of American Foresters has great links on internships and jobs for recent grads on their website.
Sustainable Northwest: A Portland non-profit that restores forests, rivers, and rangelands.
SWCA Environmental Consultants
The US Census has job opportunities around the country.
Washington State Department of Land and Natural Resources jobs.
UNICEF a.k.a. the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
US Fish and Wildlife jobs site. Also with a link to jobs for recent grads and interns.
US Forest Service jobs. This includes both current listings and outreaches (where they are gauging who may apply, and filling out the form may give you an inside track.
Washington Trails Association jobs page. They hire many different types of positions, both permanent and seasonal.
Western Rivers Conservancy in located in Portland, but covers rivers throughout the West.
Willamalane Parks & Rec offers a ton of great jobs that you can do while in school.