Geography Instructor

Geography instructors, also known as geography teachers or professors, teach concepts related to the social science of geography, including:

  • People and human activities.
  • Earth landforms, environments and landscapes.
  • Plants, animals, water and climate.
  • Metropolitan areas, cities and urban populations.

Geography instructors design curriculum, assign related coursework and track student performance. Professionals at the college or university level may also conduct research and present their findings in academic papers or journals.

Geography instructors teach in elementary and middle schools, high schools, universities and colleges. Some professionals also contribute their expertise to geography-related organizations and publications. Geography instructors should have strong communication and interpersonal skills, and thorough knowledge of related equipment, technology and education materials.

Geography Instructor Degrees

The majority of geography instructors who teach in elementary, middle or high schools have an advanced degree. Some professionals earn a bachelor’s degree in geography or another social science from an accredited online or on-site college or university. A master’s degree in education or a doctorate degree in geography may be desirable for candidates seeking positions at competitive, high profile or post-secondary institutions.

All U.S. states require licensing for public school teachers, including geography instructors. Private schools may have their own guidelines regarding professional experience and credentials. In addition, some school districts may require instructors to complete continuing education courses.

Geography Instructor Salary*

The salary for a geography instructor may depend on his or her specific work environment, education and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for a post-secondary geography teacher in May 2010 was $71,230. In 2008, elementary, middle and secondary teachers earned median annual wages ranging from $47,100 to $51,180.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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