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Summary Report for:
15-1199.05 - Geographic Information Systems Technicians

Assist scientists, technologists, or related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying, or using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development or provide user support.

Sample of reported job titles: Cartographer, Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist), Geographic Information Systems Technician (GIS Technician), Technical Support Specialist

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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

Tasks

  • Design or prepare graphic representations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, using GIS hardware or software applications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to identify spatial relationships or display results of analyses, using maps, graphs, or tabular data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain or modify existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Enter data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, using techniques such as coordinate geometry, keyboard entry of tabular data, manual digitizing of maps, scanning or automatic conversion to vectors, or conversion of other sources of digital data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Review existing or incoming data for currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality, or completeness of documentation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform geospatial data building, modeling, or analysis, using advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, or cartography software. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design or coordinate the development of integrated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial or non-spatial databases. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select cartographic elements needed for effective presentation of information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide technical support to users or clients regarding the maintenance, development, or operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, equipment, or applications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Interpret aerial or ortho photographs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Recommend procedures or equipment or software upgrades to increase data accessibility or ease of use. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with users to analyze, configure, or troubleshoot applications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transfer or rescale information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for use in urban planning applications that promote better land use or reduce environmental impacts of development. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to determine the best locations for renewable energy sites, including solar or wind energy installations. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data in transportation routing settings to determine the best routing to reduce pollution or energy consumption. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with biologists or other researchers in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to define wildlife areas or corridors for land use planning. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Participate in projects that map changes in carbon emissions levels across different geographic locations, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mainframe computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Plotter printers — Large-format plotters; Plotters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Portable data input terminals — Portable data collectors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners; Digitizers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — Coordinate geometry COGO software; ESRI ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst; ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Application server software — ESRI ArcSDE See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Charting software — Microsoft Office Visio See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Autodesk Land Desktop; Bentley Microstation See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server; Relational database management system RDMS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Autodesk Topobase; ESRI ArcEditor; Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — C; List processing language LISP; Microsoft .NET Framework; Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software; ESRI ArcView; GIS software; Trimble Pathfinder Office (see all 6 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — Microsoft Visual C#; Microsoft Visual C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Python (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web platform development software — Autodesk MapGuide software; Hypertext markup language HTML; JavaScript; Oracle JavaServer Pages JSP See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create databases to store electronic data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide technical support for software maintenance or use. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply information technology to solve business or other applied problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate data quality. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Update computer database information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop scientific or mathematical models. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Recommend changes to improve computer or information systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for use in green applications. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 84% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 77% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 70% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 32% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 17% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 47% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 36% responded “Contact with others most of the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 17% responded “Less than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 51% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 48% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

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)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
Not available Bachelor's degree
Not available Master's degree
Not available High school diploma or equivalent Help

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Credentials

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Interests

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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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
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 206,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 40,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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