Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists
SOC: 15-1199.04


Research or develop geospatial technologies. May produce databases, perform applications programming, or coordinate projects. May specialize in areas such as agriculture, mining, health care, retail trade, urban planning, or military intelligence.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
233,000 employed

Projected (2024):
240,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Geographic Information Scientist
  • Geographic Information Systems Administrator (GIS Administrator)
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst)
  • Geographic Information Systems Application Specialist (GIS Application Specialist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator)
  • Geographic Information Systems Data Administrator (GIS Data Administrator)
  • Geographic Information Systems Data Manager (GIS Data Manager)
  • Geographic Information Systems Data Specialist (GIS Data Specialist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Database Administrator (GIS Database Administrator)
  • Geographic Information Systems Developer (GIS Developer)
  • Geographic Information Systems Engineer (GIS Engineer)
  • Geographic Information Systems Geographer (GIS Geographer)
  • Geographic Information Systems Manager (GIS Manager)
  • Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist (GIS Physical Scientist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Scientist (GIS Scientist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Technologist (GIS Technologist)
  • Geographical Information System Analyst (GIS Analyst)
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • Geospatial Engineer
  • Geospatial Information Scientist
  • Geospatial Information Technologist
  • Geospatial Intelligence Subject Matter Expert
  • Geospatial Program Management Officer
  • Geospatial Scientist
  • Geospatial Specialist
  • Geospatial Technologist
  • Resource Analyst
  • Technical Leader

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    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.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Perform integrated or computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses to address scientific problems.
  • Develop specialized computer software routines, internet-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, or business applications to customize geographic information.
  • Provide technical support for computer-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software.
  • Create visual representations of geospatial data using complex procedures, such as analytical modeling, three-dimensional renderings, or plot creation.
  • 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.
  • Assist users in formulating Geographic Information Systems (GIS) requirements or understanding the implications of alternatives.
  • Collect, compile, or integrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, such as remote sensing or cartographic data for inclusion in map manuscripts.
  • Conduct or coordinate research, data analysis, systems design, or support for software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS) mapping software.
  • Design, program, or model Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications or procedures.
  • Document, design, code, or test Geographic Information Systems (GIS) models, internet mapping solutions, or other applications.
  • Make recommendations regarding upgrades considering implications of new or revised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, equipment, or applications.
  • Produce data layers, maps, tables, or reports, using spatial analysis procedures or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, equipment, or systems.
  • Coordinate the development or administration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) projects, including the development of technical priorities, client reporting and interface, or coordination and review of schedules and budgets.
  • 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.
  • Lead, train, or supervise technicians or related staff in the conduct of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analytical procedures.
  • Prepare training materials for or make presentations to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users.
  • Provide technical expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to clients or users.
  • Create, edit, or analyze geospatial data, using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or digitizing techniques.
  • Create, analyze, report, convert, or transfer data, using specialized applications program software.
  • Conduct feasibility studies or identify system, time, equipment, or cost requirements for projects.
  • Coordinate or direct research or publication activities of technicians or related staff.
  • Meet with clients to discuss topics such as technical specifications, customized solutions, or operational problems.
  • Apply three-dimensional (3D) or four-dimensional (4D) technologies to geospatial data to allow for new or different analyses or applications.
  • Develop new applications for geospatial technology in areas such as farmland preservation, pollution measurement, or utilities operations management.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Computer servers
  • Desktop computers
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Laptop computers
  • Light detection and ranging LIDAR systems
  • Personal computers
  • Synthetic aperture radar SAR
  • Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Agronomic modeling software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Bentley Microstation
  • C++
  • CDA International Manifold System
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Coordinate geometry COGO software
  • dBASE
  • Drupal
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcPad
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Ext JS
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Hydrological modeling software
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI
  • LAMP Stack
  • Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • List processing language LISP
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft ASP.NET
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft SQL Server software
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA
  • Microsoft Visual C#
  • Microsoft Word
  • National Land Cover Database NLCD
  • Oracle Java
  • Oracle software
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Python
  • R
  • SAS software
  • Soil Survey Geographic SSURGO
  • State Soil Geographic STATSGO Database
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Tableau software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • UNIX
  • Web browser software

  • computer and mathematical

    industry stats

    SOC: 15-0000

    Total Employed: 4,005,250

    Average Annual Salary: $86,170