Geography Teacher Career Information

A geography teacher works with a primary area of education, upon which many forms of study are based. The teaching role in geography also includes a wide range of additional specializations and possible career roles.

The Work Environment

A geography teacher may practice at one of several levels:

  • Introductory, or elementary school
  • Secondary, or high school (including the prerequisites for economics)
  • Post-secondary, or degree-level training for geographers, economists and teachers
  • Post-doctoral, including senior lecturing, research and related studies.

Furthermore geography itself is a broad-based study. It may include:

  • Social and cultural studies
  • Global commerce and industries
  • Economic issues on all levels, like poverty, water resources, agriculture and so on.

For teachers, this high level of diversity can involve real expertise across a large range of subjects. The teaching in these areas is based on curricula of equally variable elements, particularly at the post-secondary levels.

The typical geography curriculum at secondary level is a structured concept at its stages, teaching:

  • Global geography
  • Topography
  • Geographic landforms and structures
  • National studies
  • Regional studies
  • International studies
  • Specific areas of study like industries, employment and labor markets.

These studies are taught as both conceptual and informational studies. They form an essential basis for tertiary studies in economics and other major disciplines because of the nature of the primary information. One branch of geography is in fact called “economic geography,” which is the application of economic theories in the geographic and geopolitical areas of economics. (Asian outworkers and related economics in the clothing industry are an example of this area of geography, a major issue in the international labor market.)

Career Advancement

The school-based role is really the beginning of a geography teacher’s career. The natural progression for geography teachers is to a qualifications-based teaching role in a particular area. These are excellent jobs, also good for further career development.

The qualifications, specializations and areas of teaching are in many ways self-supporting career development. Although geography teacher is nominally an academic profession, it relates directly to the practical issues and functions of a large range of human activities:

  • Government policies and planning
  • Infrastructure planning and concepts
  • Civics
  • Education
  • Industries
  • Labor markets
  • Urban development
  • Health care
  • Demographics
  • Sociology
  • Housing industry
  • Construction
  • Environmental policies
  • Macro- and microeconomics
  • Supply chains
  • International trade
  • Domestic trade
  • Commodities
  • Mining.

Career progression for geography teachers can begin with teaching primary school kids about the world, but it could follow a logical continuum to conducting major academic studies as a senior researcher on the educational, housing, health or other requirements of the children of your former students. Some areas of geography-based careers also include things like economic consultancies and institutional study roles.