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Summary Report for:
19-2099.01 - Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists

Apply remote sensing principles and methods to analyze data and solve problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning, or homeland security. May develop new sensor systems, analytical techniques, or new applications for existing systems.

Sample of reported job titles: Geospatial Intelligence Analyst, Remote Sensing Analyst, Remote Sensing Program Manager, Remote Sensing Scientist, Research Scientist, Scientist, Sensor 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

  • Analyze data acquired from aircraft, satellites, or ground-based platforms, using statistical analysis software, image analysis software, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS). See more occupations related to this task.
  • Manage or analyze data obtained from remote sensing systems to obtain meaningful results. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Process aerial or satellite imagery to create products such as land cover maps. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop or build databases for remote sensing or related geospatial project information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor quality of remote sensing data collection operations to determine if procedural or equipment changes are necessary. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Attend meetings or seminars or read current literature to maintain knowledge of developments in the field of remote sensing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare or deliver reports or presentations of geospatial project information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct research into the application or enhancement of remote sensing technology. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Discuss project goals, equipment requirements, or methodologies with colleagues or team members. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Integrate other geospatial data sources into projects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Organize and maintain geospatial data and associated documentation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design or implement strategies for collection, analysis, or display of geographic data. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Participate in fieldwork. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Collect supporting data, such as climatic or field survey data, to corroborate remote sensing data analyses. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop new analytical techniques or sensor systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Train technicians in the use of remote sensing technology. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct all activity associated with implementation, operation, or enhancement of remote sensing hardware or software. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compile and format image data to increase its usefulness. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Recommend new remote sensing hardware or software acquisitions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct installation or testing of new remote sensing hardware or software. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set up or maintain remote sensing data collection systems. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop automated routines to correct for the presence of image distorting artifacts, such as ground vegetation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply remote sensing data or techniques to address environmental issues, such as surface water modeling or dust cloud detection. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Use remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities involved in assessing the impact of environmental change. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Aerial cameras — Airborne imaging systems; Spaceborne imaging systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Infrared imagers — Thermal imaging systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Infrared spectrometers — Multispectral imaging equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mainframe computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Radarbased surveillance systems — Doppler Rayleigh laser imaging ranging and detecting LIDAR systems; Synthetic aperture radar SAR See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Spectrographs — Hyperspectral imaging equipment; Spectral imaging systems See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — RSI ENVI; The MathWorks MATLAB See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Development environment software — C; Interface definition language IDL See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Image processing 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; Gamma Remote Sensing software; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; PCI Geomatics Geomatica (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Sun Microsystems Java See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Operating system software — Linux; UNIX 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.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. 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.
  • 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.
  • Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes. 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.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. 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.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design. 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.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. 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.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. 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.
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. 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.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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). 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. 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.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. 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.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. 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.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. 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.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Record research or operational data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyze geological or geographical data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect environmental data or samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect geographical or geological field data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Set up laboratory or field equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop environmental research methods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Attend conferences or workshops to maintain professional knowledge. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop technical or scientific databases. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Advise others on the development or use of new technologies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Compile geographic or related data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create images or other visual displays. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate new technologies or methods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct technical activities or operations. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 77% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 58% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 62% responded “Moderately competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 46% responded “Contact with others about half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 23% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
50   Master's degree
38   Bachelor's degree
4   Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: RI

  • 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. 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.
  • 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.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. 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.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status. 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 Physical Scientists, All Other.
Employment data collected from Physical Scientists, All Other.
Industry data collected from Physical Scientists, All Other.

Median wages (2014) $45.21 hourly, $94,030 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 31,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 8,300
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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