Cartographers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $49K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Cartographers. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Cartographers who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 62 percent. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Cartographer
While the old definition of the position of cartographer as a mapmaker still holds true, many of the routine aspects of this job have changed greatly with the advent of GPS technology. While a variety of employers may utilize the services of a cartographer, most commonly this employee can be found in businesses that work with logistics and require modern and up-to-date geospatial graphical representation for field employees working in surface, water, or air operations. The cartographer still helps to create maps, but in a modern sense, this person is collecting and creating optimum route and terrain information and graphically representing it in constantly updating map format for companies that operate service fleets in logistics.Read More...
Much of a modern cartographer's job involves working with extremely high-tech equipment that creates satellite imagery. The cartographer uses these images, which may capture a variety of ground, sea, and air features into graphic forms and routing maps that can be used by routing professionals. The cartographer works to verify changing geographic patterns, constantly updating the information in the graphic map and terrain presentations he or she creates.
A cartographer will typically get a university degree in geography with an emphasis on graphic information systems involved in translating analysis into map and chart form. Typically, a cartographer works at a junior level, assisting either a journeyman or senior cartographer for a period of time to build up practical experience. Cartographers typically work in an office environment, but they may find field work and frequent travel to be requirements of the job as well.
- Create, maintain, and update visual representations of cartographic data.
- Create representations of specified terrain or areas by integrating collected data at a specified scale.
- Build and maintain geographical information databases.
- Collect, document, and analyze geospatial data, photographs, historical maps, and text documentation.
- Define quality standards and annotation to indicate quality of data used in map creation.
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Pay by Experience Level for Cartographer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Cartographers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $39K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $46K. Cartographers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $50K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $59K.