Summary Report for:
15-1199.04 - Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
Research or develop geospatial technologies. May produce databases, perform applications programming, or coordinate projects. May specialize in areas such as agriculture, mining, health care, retail trade, urban planning, or military intelligence.
Sample of reported job titles: Geographic Information Systems Administrator (GIS Administrator), Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), Geographic Information Systems Manager (GIS Manager), Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist), Geographical Information System Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geospatial Intelligence Subject Matter Expert, Geospatial Program Management Officer, Resource Analyst, Technical Leader
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Produce data layers, maps, tables, or reports, using spatial analysis procedures or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, equipment, or systems.
- Coordinate the development or administration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) projects, including the development of technical priorities, client reporting and interface, or coordination and review of schedules and budgets.
- Provide technical expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to clients or users.
- Create, analyze, report, convert, or transfer data, using specialized applications program software.
- Design, program, or model Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications or procedures.
- Provide technical support for computer-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software.
- Perform computer programming, data analysis, or software development for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications, including the maintenance of existing systems or research and development for future enhancements.
- Lead, train, or supervise technicians or related staff in the conduct of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analytical procedures.
- Collect, compile, or integrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, such as remote sensing or cartographic data for inclusion in map manuscripts.
- Meet with clients to discuss topics such as technical specifications, customized solutions, or operational problems.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, equipment, or systems.
- Perform integrated or computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses to address scientific problems.
- Create visual representations of geospatial data using complex procedures, such as analytical modeling, three-dimensional renderings, or plot creation.
- Document, design, code, or test Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models, internet mapping solutions, or other applications.
- Prepare training materials for or make presentations to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users.
- Assist users in formulating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) requirements or understanding the implications of alternatives.
- Make recommendations regarding upgrades considering implications of new or revised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, equipment, or applications.
- Conduct or coordinate research, data analysis, systems design, or support for software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS) mapping software.
- Conduct feasibility studies or identify system, time, equipment, or cost requirements for projects.
- Create, edit, or analyze geospatial data, using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or digitizing techniques.
- Develop specialized computer software routines, internet-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, or business applications to customize geographic information.
- Coordinate or direct research or publication activities of technicians or related staff.
- Apply three-dimensional (3D) or four-dimensional (4D) technologies to geospatial data to allow for new or different analyses or applications.
- Develop new applications for geospatial technology in areas such as farmland preservation, pollution measurement, or utilities operations management.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Computer servers
- Desktop computers
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Light detection and ranging LIDAR systems; Synthetic aperture radar SAR
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software; SAS software; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 7 examples)
- Application server software — ESRI ArcSDE
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
- Data base user interface and query software — National Land Cover Database NLCD; Soil Survey Geographic SSURGO; State Soil Geographic STATSGO Database; Structured query language SQL (see all 9 examples)
- Development environment software — Formula translation/translator FORTRAN; List processing language LISP; Microsoft Visual Basic; Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA (see all 5 examples)
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — CDA International Manifold System; ESRI ArcInfo; ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE (see all 6 examples)
- Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Microsoft Visual C#; Python; Sun Microsystems Java (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — Drupal; Hypertext markup language HTML; Microsoft ASP.NET
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Detailed Work Activities
- Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
- Manage information technology projects or system activities.
- Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
- Prepare analytical reports.
- Create databases to store electronic data.
- Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
- Test software performance.
- Design software applications.
- Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
- Supervise information technology personnel.
- Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
- Design computer modeling or simulation programs.
- Develop models of information or communications systems.
- Conduct research to gain information about products or processes.
- Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems.
- Prepare data for analysis.
- Write computer programming code.
- Evaluate project designs to determine adequacy or feasibility.
- Document technical specifications or requirements.
- Train others in computer interface or software use.
- Estimate time or monetary resources needed to complete projects.
- Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for use in green applications.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 75% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 57% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “Some freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 36% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 36% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
- Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Level of Competition — 50% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Important.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: IRC
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data collected from Computer Occupations, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$40.10 hourly, $83,410 annual|
|Employment (2014)||233,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||37,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.