Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist Salary
Job Description for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist
Geographic information systems (GIS) is a term used to describe the collection and collation of various types of data in order to visually represent that data, most often in the form of charts or maps. These systems are used by a vast array of organizations for an even larger number of applications. GIS specialists are in charge of the construction of display material from GIS data, as well as the maintenance, development, and implementation of the hardware, software, and databases needed to accomplish specific tasks.Read More...
The specific requirements of the job depend on the nature of the organization and the tasks required of the GIS specialist. Depending on the size of the organization and the scope of the needed projects, GIS specialists may either work alone or as a part of a GIS team. These individuals should possess good interpersonal skills, a cooperative nature, the ability to work on deadlines, a solid set of general computer skills, and abstract thinking ability. Attention to detail is very important in this position. The GIS specialist typically works in an indoor office environment during regular business hours.
To become a GIS specialist, most employers require either an associate's or bachelor's degree in geomatics, environmental science, geography, or a related field; a master's degree may be preferred. In addition, there are certification programs available from the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Between four and seven years of experience with computer mapping is also a common prerequisite.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist Tasks
- Design, develop, and implement systems and databases for storing and accessing geospatial data.
- Standardize and define metadata for geographic data, and track need for data format conversion.
- Research and test new data sources, software, and organizational tools.
- Create and implement standards for quality of geographic data.
Common Career Paths for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist
Geographic Information Systems Specialists' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Geographic Information Systems Project Manager. The average Geographic Information Systems Project Manager brings home $68K per year. The most common promotion for Geographic Information Systems Specialists is a Geographic Information Systems Analyst position, which usually brings in $48K a year. Another standard transition for Geographic Information Systems Specialists seeking advancement is to assume a Senior Geographic Information Systems Specialist role, where pay is often $61K.
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Popular Skills for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist
Survey results imply that Geographic Information Systems Specialists put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Python, ArcGIS, Data Analysis, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Cartography. Most people familiar with Data Analysis also know Data Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Geographic Information Systems Specialists do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $46K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $55K. Geographic Information Systems Specialists bring in $61K after working for 10 to 20 years. Geographic Information Systems Specialists who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $64K.
Pay Difference by Location
Phoenix is home to an above-average pay rate for Geographic Information Systems Specialists, 37 percent higher than the national average. Geographic Information Systems Specialists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+24 percent), New York (+12 percent), Raleigh (+8 percent), and Madison (+7 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Portland, 19 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Richmond and Dover (17 percent lower and 16 percent lower, respectively).
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