Working at National Geographic
How can I get a job at National Geographic?
All of our current career opportunities are listed on our Careers site.
How can I be a photographer for National Geographic?
We are often asked by aspiring photojournalists for advice about entering this highly competitive field.
National Geographic photographers have college degrees in a variety of disciplines. Most did not major in photography, but all took photo courses. The most common majors have been journalism, anthropology, sociology or psychology, fine arts, and sciences. Our editors and photographers agree that it is important to complete a degree in a discipline other than photography. Freelancers usually come to us with at least five years of photojournalism experience or with specializations such as wildlife, underwater, nature, or aerial photography. We seek balance and an eclectic blend of interests, abilities, and photographic styles in the freelancers we hire.
How can I write for National Geographic?
Vacancies on our editorial staff are usually filled by men and women who have had quite a few years of experience in the newspaper or magazine publishing fields. In preparation for such work, many of our writers have made a thorough study of the sciences, journalism, and English, and in some cases know several languages. A solid academic background and a proven record of success in one's chosen field are most important. However, because we cannot know a person's particular talents nor assure employment after a completed course, we do not encourage gearing a career or educational program specifically toward employment by the National Geographic Society.
How can I become an explorer?
There are no set requirements for a position as an explorer. Our explorers come to us with a diverse and extensive list of credentials. You can read more on our explorers programs at:
How can I work with animals?
Though we frequently report on the work of wildlife biologists in the field, we do not have staff members engaged in this research.
The following organizations offer free (except where noted) information that can help you research the fields that interest you:
- IU Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior
Careers in Animal Behavior
Programs in Animal Behavior and Related Studies
- The American Zoo and Aquarium Association
- The American Veterinary Medical Association
- The Humane Society of the United States
Book: Careers With Animals
- The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
How can I learn about careers in geography?
We suggest you contact the Association of American Geographers (AAG). (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.) They are an excellent source for information about the field of geography, and they have the following publications available:
- "Careers in Geography" (four-page brochure)
- Guide to Geography Programs
Both items can be ordered from the AAG Publications Division. Email: email@example.com.
AAG also has a list of college and university geography departments in North America.
The University of Colorado at Boulder maintains a Virtual Geographer with links to geography departments at universities and colleges around the world.
Career opportunities at the National Geographic Society for persons with a background in geography are found primarily in our editorial research and cartography departments and in our geography education program. Staff members here are engaged in a broad range of activities promoting research and exploration, working with educators to improve the teaching of geography, and publishing geographical materials, including magazines, books, maps, films, and educational products, for both the school market and the general public. To produce these materials National Geographic employs writers, editors, computer specialists, researchers, artists, designers, and cartographers. Training in the discipline of geography is beneficial in all of these specialties. You can find all opportunities on our Jobs site.
Does the National Geographic Society offer internships?
Each year we offer a limited number of college students the opportunity to become involved in our activities. Our programs are highly competitive and target students with skills and determination in fields pertinent to the Society's work. By definition, an intern is a student on a work assignment, and, therefore, students must be United States citizens or be legally entitled to work in the United States. All internship positions are located at our headquarters in Washington, DC.
Information on our geography internship program can be found online.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine offers one photography internship each year. The photography internship is automatically offered to the winner of the College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) contest administered by the University of Missouri, Columbia. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC provides one internship in journalism for college students chosen from a pool of applicants selected by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). These students must have completed their junior year. Announcements about the program should be available at college English or journalism departments. ASME's deadline for applications is normally in mid-November. Information is also available on the American Society of Magazine Editors website.
For information about internships with National Geographic Channel US, please email firstname.lastname@example.org directly. A variety of other internships are also posted on our jobs page. These include positions in our various departments throughout the Society. Listings change frequently, so we encourage you to check the jobs page often.