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
Let’s reconsider this idea. When you look at a job ad for any position, you will notice that there are often what are called intangible or ‘soft’ skills listed: problem solver, critical thinker, good communicator, effective leadership, understands data, etc. These are the skills employers want. Yes, they often want other skills, but many of those are not task specific. You can teach people to push buttons and use programs. But it’s far more difficult to train an employee how to be effective.
These are the skills you get with any liberal arts degree. So the big secret? Your major (almost) doesn’t matter.
You will develop the skills that make you most employable by studying what you enjoy.
And who doesn’t enjoy geography?!
Click here to see more discussion about how you are actually developing real-world applicable skills in college!
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 your 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 new ones. If you know of a posting that could go here, please email Leslie McLees, the Undergraduate Coordinator at email@example.com
Current Internship opportunities
- Ebbert United Method Church in Springfield is looking for an intern to help with community outreach in is food provision and houseless advocacy projects. An official description ill be coming soon. Contact Leslie McLees (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested!
- The City of Eugene Office of Human Rights and Neighborhood Involvement is gearing up to look for interns to help with some mapping projects and some community outreach. They’re trying to rethink what it means to have neighborhood groups in places like West university, which is mostly comprised of college students. More information to follow…
- Apple Maps is hiring a GIS Analyst Intern in Cupertino, CA.
Permanent Internship Programs
- BigInternships.com. This is an amazing clearinghouse of opportunity!
- Check out VolunteerMatch for a wide variety of volunteer and internship opportunities locally and everywhere else! It is a very fabulous resource.
- The JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program) is amazing. No formal Japanese instruction skills required!
- Idealist is a great resource for jobs and internships for people who want to change the world.
- Big Island Farm Internships. Yes. Organic farming on the Big Island of Hawaii.
- Shadow Lake Nature Preserve in Renton, WA, always has a ton of stuff if you’re up in the Seattle area.
- 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.
- The Mt Cuba Internship Program in Delaware. Environmental Leadership type of stuff. It looks like a great program!
- Washington Trails Association is always looking for outdoor volunteers!
- Discovery (as in the tv channel) as a huge internship program. Yes, geographers are suited for most of these!
Some Volunteer Opportunities
An extensive database for internships is at Big Internships. So much opportunity!
Some Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Jobs in the Department
Infographics is hiring student workers!
Jobs on Campus
None have been sent to us specifically at this time. UO students can log into Handshake and see a complete listing of student jobs on campus.
Jobs beyond UO
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 a specific listing for recent grads). Practice looking for jobs and honing in your specific search terms.
These jobs are ones that continually accept applications. Don’t skip over these!
- Expedia is always hiring Geographers for contract positions. NOT A GIS Position!
- Check it out! We’ve had alumni working there who love it.
- The City of Eugene Public Works is hiring and an Outdoor/Environmental Leader (continuous). Great for getting to know the local area and developing some education and leadership skills!
- The Department of Ecology in Union Gap, WA (Yakima County) is hiring a Solid Waste Planner and Outreach Specialist.
- FEMA is hiring several different positions for their Reservists program, including Environmental Floodplain Specialist, Accountable Property Specialist, Systems Specialist (Database manager), Insurance Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Floodplain Specialist, Media Relations, Intergovernemental Affairs.
*Outreach positions are notices that a job will soon be posted. Filling out the form means that you will be put on a list and notified of updates when the job becomes available.*
Useful Search Engines
The sites in this section are search engines with different focuses.
Use Google! Here is a link to a google search for GIS Jobs georeferenced to wherever you are at. Use it to look for any keywords! It’s amazing how much it can find.
The Conservation Jobs Board has a lot of great stuff more (though not always) geared towards the physical sciences and people who want to save the planet!
Data analyst Jobs has as a site that might appeal to the more data/techie types.
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, both in the US and abroad!
GISCafe posts not just jobs, but info on the industry as well.
Idealist is fabulous for jobs and internships for those looking to change the world.
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.
Nextio is an interesting new platform where you can look up our school and see what alumni are doing by major!
O*NET Online is a fabulous resource where you can do all sorts of searching, down to very specific results. This page takes some time to figure out, but it has amazing tools to help you figure out what you can do. Search by industry, experience level, industry growth potential, and much more.
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.
TribalCareers.com caters towards jobs on Native American reservations, and I think for Native American Students.
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…
Amazon.com jobs page. Remote opportunities available, too!
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.
So is the City of Springfield!
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.
The Forest Service has a page filled with outreach for positions. These outreaches are meant to get the word out there and get you on a list for updates for when the position is announced. There is a ton here.
Several cities in the greater Seattle area seem to advertise on this site, called govjobstoday.com.
Great Basin Research Institute partners with different government agencies and NGOs to provide stewardship, education, and more.
Herrera is an environmental consulting firm located throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in Portland provides services to address the needs of those populations in Oregon and SW Washington.
Insitu is a company that designed UAVs and is located in the PacNW.
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 and here (don’t be confused by the fox.careers page. A lot of great work is happening through this side of NatGeo).
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
Tetra Tech is an environmental engineering firm that uses all sorts of people to help guide development.
The Nature Conservancy has an interactive map for all their jobs!
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 States Department of Land and Natural Resources has tons of jobs that might appeal to the biophysical geographers among us.
Washington Trails Association jobs page. They hire many different types of positions, both permanent and seasonal.
The Watershed Company in Kirkland, Washington often has openings for ecologists, planners and geomorphology types.
Western Rivers Conservancy is 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.