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
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
- Analyze data acquired from aircraft, satellites, or ground-based platforms, using statistical analysis software, image analysis software, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
- Manage or analyze data obtained from remote sensing systems to obtain meaningful results.
- Process aerial or satellite imagery to create products such as land cover maps.
- Develop or build databases for remote sensing or related geospatial project information.
- Monitor quality of remote sensing data collection operations to determine if procedural or equipment changes are necessary.
- Attend meetings or seminars or read current literature to maintain knowledge of developments in the field of remote sensing.
- Prepare or deliver reports or presentations of geospatial project information.
- Conduct research into the application or enhancement of remote sensing technology.
- Discuss project goals, equipment requirements, or methodologies with colleagues or team members.
- Integrate other geospatial data sources into projects.
- Organize and maintain geospatial data and associated documentation.
- Design or implement strategies for collection, analysis, or display of geographic data.
- Participate in fieldwork.
- Collect supporting data, such as climatic or field survey data, to corroborate remote sensing data analyses.
- Develop new analytical techniques or sensor systems.
- Train technicians in the use of remote sensing technology.
- Direct all activity associated with implementation, operation, or enhancement of remote sensing hardware or software.
- Compile and format image data to increase its usefulness.
- Recommend new remote sensing hardware or software acquisitions.
- Direct installation or testing of new remote sensing hardware or software.
- Set up or maintain remote sensing data collection systems.
- Develop automated routines to correct for the presence of image distorting artifacts, such as ground vegetation.
- Apply remote sensing data or techniques to address environmental issues, such as surface water modeling or dust cloud detection.
- Use remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities involved in assessing the impact of environmental change.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Aerial cameras — Airborne imaging systems; Spaceborne imaging systems
- Desktop computers
- Infrared imagers — Thermal imaging systems
- Infrared spectrometers — Multispectral imaging equipment
- Mainframe computers
- Personal computers
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Doppler Rayleigh laser imaging ranging and detecting LIDAR systems; Synthetic aperture radar SAR
- Spectrographs — Hyperspectral imaging equipment; Spectral imaging systems
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — RSI ENVI; The MathWorks MATLAB
- Development environment software — C; Interface definition language IDL
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Image processing software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software; Gamma Remote Sensing software; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; PCI Geomatics Geomatica (see all 5 examples)
- Object or component oriented development software — C++; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Sun Microsystems Java
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Operating system software — Linux; UNIX
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- 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.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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.
- 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).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- 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.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Detailed Work Activities
- Record research or operational data.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Analyze geological or geographical data.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Collect geographical or geological field data.
- Set up laboratory or field equipment.
- Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
- Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
- Develop environmental research methods.
- Attend conferences or workshops to maintain professional knowledge.
- Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.
- Develop technical or scientific databases.
- Advise others on the development or use of new technologies.
- Compile geographic or related data.
- Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
- Create images or other visual displays.
- Evaluate new technologies or methods.
- Direct technical activities or operations.
- Electronic Mail — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 58% responded “More than half the time.”
- Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Important results.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “40 hours.”
- Level of Competition — 62% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Contact With Others — 46% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 23% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Important.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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.
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- 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.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- 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.
- 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.
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|
|Employment (2012)||31,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||8,300|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.