Geographic Information Systems Technologists and Technicians
15-1299.02

Assist scientists 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: Geographic Information System Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Administrator (GIS Administrator), Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), GIS Specialist (Geographic Information Systems Specialist), GIS Technician (Geographic Information Systems Technician), Resource Analyst

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Produce data layers, maps, tables, or reports, using spatial analysis procedures or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, equipment, or systems.
  • Design or prepare graphic representations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, using GIS hardware or software applications.
  • Maintain or modify existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases.
  • Provide technical expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to clients or users.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Review existing or incoming data for currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality, or completeness of documentation.
  • Perform geospatial data building, modeling, or analysis, using advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, or cartography software.
  • Design or coordinate the development of integrated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial or non-spatial databases.
  • Perform integrated or computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses to address scientific problems.
  • Select cartographic elements needed for effective presentation of information.
  • Provide technical support to users or clients regarding the maintenance, development, or operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, equipment, or applications.
  • Collect, compile, or integrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, such as remote sensing or cartographic data for inclusion in map manuscripts.
  • Interpret aerial or ortho photographs.
  • Meet with clients to discuss topics such as technical specifications, customized solutions, or operational problems.
  • Document, design, code, or test Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models, internet mapping solutions, or other applications.
  • Create, analyze, report, convert, or transfer data, using specialized applications program software.
  • Confer with users to analyze, configure, or troubleshoot applications.
  • Design, program, or model Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications or procedures.
  • Develop specialized computer software routines, internet-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, or business applications to customize geographic information.
  • Make recommendations regarding upgrades, considering implications of new or revised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, equipment, or applications.
  • Assist users in formulating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) requirements or understanding the implications of alternatives.
  • Create visual representations of geospatial data, using complex procedures such as analytical modeling, three-dimensional renderings, or plot creation.
  • Transfer or rescale information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs.
  • Prepare training materials for, or make presentations to, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users.
  • Apply three-dimensional (3D) or four-dimensional (4D) technologies to geospatial data to allow for new or different analyses or applications.
  • Conduct research, data analysis, systems design, or support for software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS) mapping software.
  • 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.
  • Recommend procedures, equipment, or software upgrades to increase data accessibility or ease of use.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Coordinate geometry COGO software; Hydrological modeling software; SAS statistical software; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology ; 2 more
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software — Tableau Hot technology
  • Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint Hot technology
  • Cloud-based management software — IBM WebSphere Hot technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Autodesk Land Desktop; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server Hot technology ; Relational database management software Hot technology ; Relational database management system RDMS; Teradata Database Hot technology
  • Data base reporting software — SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports
  • Data base user interface and query software — dBASE; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; Soil Survey Geographic SSURGO; Structured query language SQL Hot technology ; 4 more
  • Development environment software — Microsoft .NET Framework Hot technology ; Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA Hot technology ; Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript Hot technology ; Microsoft Visual Studio Hot technology ; 5 more
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology ; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS
  • Electronic mail software — Email software
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software Hot technology — SAP business and customer relations management software
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology ; ESRI ArcSDE; ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software Hot technology ; 6 more
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Map creation software — CDA International Manifold System; ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; Trimble Pathfinder Office
  • Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
  • Object or component oriented development software — C# Hot technology ; Oracle Java Hot technology ; Perl Hot technology ; R Hot technology ; 3 more
  • Object oriented data base management software — PostgreSQL Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office Hot technology
  • Operating system software — Job control language JCL; Shell script Hot technology ; UNIX Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Process mapping and design software — Microsoft Visio Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects Hot technology
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Web platform development software — Cascading style sheets CSS Hot technology ; Drupal Hot technology ; Microsoft ASP.NET Hot technology ; Oracle JavaServer Pages JSP Hot technology ; 6 more
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Communicating with People Outside the 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.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
  • Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  • Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
  • Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
  • Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
  • Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
  • Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?

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Experience Requirements

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 real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • 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.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Interests

Interest code: IRC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

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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.
  • 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.

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Work Styles

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

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wage data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Employment data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Industry data for Computer Occupations, All Other.
Median wages (2021)
$45.80 hourly, $95,270 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
442,200 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
37,500
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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