GIS Technician Jobs

GIS Technician Job Description

GIS technicians, also referred to as GIS mapping techs, are responsible for making maps, manipulating data, and customizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to achieve a variety of goals for a number of purposes.

GIS technicians can then choose to pursue related careers such as GIS analysts, GIS digitizers, GIS managers, and GIS coordinators.

The most successful GIS techs have the following skills and characteristics:

  • Excellent attention to detail (in order to properly maintain a GIS database and enter data into said database)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (in order to excel at training others how to use GIS technology and creating and presenting data reports)
  • Genuinely interested and excited about pushing technical limits and finding solutions to issues
  • Superb problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Good people skills; works well with others
  • Positive attitude
  • Committed to ongoing learning
  • Decent IT technical skills
  • Good ability to think through a problem in order to reach a solution

How Do You Become a GIS Tech?

Most employers require their GIS technicians to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, geography, or computer science. The types of courses that a GIS technician can expect to take during his or her schooling include geo-systems, geography, historical geography, computer architecture, and (of course) GIS. The typical bachelor’s degree program takes between four and five years.

Once a GIS technician has obtained the proper schooling needed, he or she may choose to pursue an internship, which will help to give that candidate an edge while he or she gains experience in the field.

If you want to give yourself an even larger edge over your job competition, consider pursuing a master’s degree in geography, as this can increase career advancement opportunities as well as salary potential. Additionally, having this type of school can help you get the job you want, giving you a benefit over your competition.

How Much Does a GIS Mapping Tech Make?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs related to and including GIS Technicians is expected to experience a 21% increase through 2016. According to Simply Hired, an entry level GIS technician earns, on average, an annual salary of $32,000. More generally, a GIS tech can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000, depending upon education level, experience, and work location.

If you enjoy working with technology and are looking for a stable career with decent pay, consider pursuing a career as a GIS mapping technician. One way to begin your information search is to browse forums related to GIS technicians such as the one found on Indeed.com. It’s also never a bad idea to keep an eye on the number of openings available both in your town or city as well as in surrounding and metropolitan areas. Finally, you may want to get online to The GIS Jobs Clearinghouse website, which offers interested people job information, a place to post your resume, and further information about the career and where it’s going.

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