Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician Salary
Job Description for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
As digital maps become more prevalent, they have also grown more complex and detailed. The geographic information systems (GIS) technician uses geographic data in a wide range of applications, such as creating geographic information systems and databases, reviewing existing cartographic designs for accuracy and detail, and creating specialized map systems from source documents using cartography and design software.Read More...
Geographic information systems technicians must possess significant knowledge of geography and the ability to understand engineering and cartography symbols and terminology, as well as the color perception and motor skills needed to produce accurate drafts. Proficiency in computer systems, specifically in GIS and design software such as AutoCAD and ArcView, is also a basic requirement. As the GIS technician must often meet with customers and clients to collect and interpret data, strong verbal and written communication skills are critical. In many cases, GIS technicians are managed by a senior GIS technician, but they often have considerable autonomy in their daily tasks. Work is often done in an office environment, but extensive travel is often required.
Most employers require the applicant possess at least an associate's degree or vocational/technical school equivalent in geographic information systems, computer science, or civil engineering. A minimum of two years' experience with GIS systems may be acceptable as an alternative to formal education.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician Tasks
- Compile and assess visual information from diverse sources like aerial photos, geological surveys, and satellite images.
- Document new and familiar sources of GIS data, their uses, and quality concerns.
- Draw maps using automated drafting software, and annotate sources and quality of information layers.
- Transform diverse data into standardized computer input for databases and maps.
Common Career Paths for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
At the upper end, Geographic Information Systems Technicians who move into a Geographic Information Systems Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Geographic Information Systems Managers is a much higher $66K per year. Geographic Information Systems Technicians most often move into positions as Geographic Information Systems Analysts or Geographic Information Systems Specialists; those groups report median salaries that are $7K higher and $6K higher, respectively.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
Popular Skills for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
Survey results suggest that Geographic Information Systems Technicians use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Microsoft Office, Cartography, Data Management, and ArcGIS are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Python. For most people, competency in Data Management indicates knowledge of Data Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Geographic Information Systems Technicians, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $40K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $43K. For Geographic Information Systems Technicians, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $48K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Geographic Information Systems Technician with more than 20 years of experience can earn $53K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Geographic Information Systems Technicians that is 23 percent greater than the national average, Chicago offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Geographic Information Systems Technicians will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+17 percent), Oklahoma City (+9 percent), Portland (+5 percent), and San Antonio (+2 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Geographic Information Systems Technicians in Akron earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Fort Collins and Tulsa (14 percent lower).