Geography Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in geography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Geography Instructor, Geography Professor, Human Geography Instructor, Human Geography Professor, Instructor, Lecturer, Physical Geography Professor, Professor
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as urbanization, environmental systems, and cultural geography.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
- Evaluate and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Supervise students’ laboratory and field work.
- Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
- Perform spatial analysis and modeling using geographic information system techniques.
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks.
- Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
- Maintain geographic information systems laboratories, performing duties such as updating software.
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- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; Insightful S-PLUS; ITT Exelis Visual Information Solutions ENVI; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 6 examples)
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Desire2Learn; Learning management system LMS; Sakai CLE (see all 5 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite; Interface definition language IDL
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Reader
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst; ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software (see all 6 examples)
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox; Web browser software
- Map creation software — Clark Labs CartaLinx; Clark Labs IDRISI; Geographic resources analysis support system GRASS; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
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- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Develop instructional materials.
- Teach physical science or mathematics courses at the college level.
- Evaluate student work.
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Prepare tests.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Guide class discussions.
- Maintain student records.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Direct department activities.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Write grant proposals.
- Maintain computer equipment or software.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
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- Electronic Mail — 99% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 94% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 74% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 54% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Public Speaking — 62% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 59% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Level of Competition — 38% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Telephone — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Letters and Memos — 59% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: SI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$82,330 annual|
|Employment (2020)||4,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Geographers
- American Geographical Society
- American Geophysical Union
- American Meteorological Society
- American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
- Council of Graduate Schools
- International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers
- National Council for Geographic Education
- National Council for the Social Studies
- National Geographic Society
- National Science Teachers Association
- North American Cartographic Information Society
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary teachers
- Regional Science Association International
- The Geological Society of America
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