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Geographic Information Systems Technicians Career

Career Description

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.

What Job Titles Geographic Information Systems Technicians Might Have

  • Cartographer
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst)
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Technician (GIS Technician)

What Geographic Information Systems Technicians Do

  • Design or prepare graphic representations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, using GIS hardware or software applications.
  • Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to identify spatial relationships or display results of analyses, using maps, graphs, or tabular data.
  • Maintain or modify existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases.
  • Enter data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, using techniques such as keyboard entry of tabular data, manual digitizing of maps, 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.
  • 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.
  • Interpret aerial or ortho photographs.
  • Recommend procedures or equipment or software upgrades to increase data accessibility or ease of use.
  • 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.
  • Confer with users to analyze, configure, or troubleshoot applications.
  • Transfer or rescale information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs.

What Geographic Information Systems Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • 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.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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).
  • 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.

What Geographic Information Systems Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • 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.

What Geographic Information Systems Technicians Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Median Salary: $86,510

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.