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
Geographic Information Systems Technicians who go on to become Geographic Information Systems Managers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Geographic Information Systems Managers is $66K annually. The most common next step for a Geographic Information Systems Technician is to become a Geographic Information Systems Analyst or a Geographic Information Systems Specialist. The former position pays an additional $7K per year on average, and the latter position pays $6K more per year.
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
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Microsoft Office, Data Management, Cartography, and Python are correlated to pay that is above average. Those familiar with Data Management also tend to know 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.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Geographic Information Systems Technicians — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $40K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $44K. Geographic Information Systems Technicians with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $47K. As Geographic Information Systems Technicians reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $52K.
Pay Difference by Location
Chicago offers some of the highest pay in the country for Geographic Information Systems Technicians, 22 percent above the national average. Geographic Information Systems Technicians will also find cushy salaries in Charlotte (+16 percent), Oklahoma City (+9 percent), San Antonio (+6 percent), and Portland (+4 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Akron Geographic Information Systems Technicians earning much less — 22 percent less — than the national average. Workers in Fort Collins and Tulsa earn less than others in this profession; their salaries fall short of the national average by 14 percent.
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