Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
SOC: 17-1021.00


Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
12,300 employed

Projected (2024):
15,900 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:

  • Aerial Photogrammetrist
  • CAD Draftsman (Computer-Aided Design Draftsman)
  • CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician)
  • Cadastral Mapper
  • Cartographer
  • Cartographic Designer
  • Cartographic Drafter
  • Cartographic Editor
  • Cartographic Technician
  • Cartography Supervisor
  • Cartography Technician
  • Certified Photogrammetrist
  • Compiler
  • Computer Aided Design Draftsman (CAD Draftsman)
  • Data Analyst
  • Digital Cartographer
  • Drafting Technician
  • Engineer, Photogrammetric
  • Field Map Editor
  • Geographic Information Systems Mapping Analyst (GIS Mapping Analyst)
  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist)
  • Geographic Information Systems Technician (GIS Technician)
  • Geospatial Specialist
  • GIS Analyst (Geographic Information Systems Analyst)
  • GIS Manager (Geographic Information Systems Manager)
  • Imagery Analyst
  • LiDAR Data Analyst
  • LiDAR Specialist
  • LIDAR Technician (Light Detection and Ranging Technician)
  • Map Editor
  • Map Maker
  • Mapper
  • Mapping Manager
  • Mapping Supervisor
  • Orthophotography Technician
  • Photo Cartographer
  • Photogrammetric Engineer
  • Photogrammetric Stereo Compiler
  • Photogrammetric Technician
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Production Manager
  • Soft Copy Photogrammetrist
  • Softcopy Photogrammetrist
  • Softcopy Plotter Operator
  • Stereo Compiler
  • Stereo Plotter Operator
  • Stereoplotter Operator
  • Surveyor
  • Topographer
  • Topographical Field Assistant

  • 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
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • 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
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.
  • Collect information about specific features of the Earth, using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques.
  • Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.
  • Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
  • Inspect final compositions to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  • Determine map content and layout, as well as production specifications such as scale, size, projection, and colors, and direct production to ensure that specifications are followed.
  • Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
  • Select aerial photographic and remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy.
  • Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
  • Build and update digital databases.
  • Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
  • Determine guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.
  • Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.
  • Travel over photographed areas to observe, identify, record, and verify all relevant features.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Aerial imagery mapping-grade global positioning systems GPS
  • Analytical stereoplotters
  • Automatic levels
  • Color digital camera systems
  • Color inkjet plotters
  • Compasses
  • Computer servers
  • Digital camcorders
  • Digital image printers
  • Digitizers
  • Dividers
  • Drafting instruments
  • Drafting machines
  • Film processors and editors
  • French curves
  • Geodetic ground global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Lamination systems
  • Large-format aerial digital cameras
  • Large-format plotters
  • Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems
  • Laser printers
  • Mapping grade global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Notebook computers
  • Panoramic digital line cameras
  • Personal computers
  • Photo enlargers
  • Photogrammetric scanners
  • Planimeters
  • Protractors
  • Remote sensing equipment
  • Scales
  • Scanners
  • T-squares
  • Templates
  • Total stations
  • Triangles
  • Type lettering sets
  • Video thermal imagers
  • Windows servers
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Fireworks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Aerotriangulation adjustment software
  • Aldus FreeHand
  • Arbor Image Draftsman
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Autodesk World
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Boeing SoftPlotter
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Corporate Montage CADScript
  • Cosmo Software Cosmo World
  • Desktop publishing software
  • Digital databases
  • Email software
  • ER Mapper software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Image analysis software
  • Image processing software
  • Intergraph ImageStation Stereo Softcopy Kit SSK
  • Intergraph software
  • Kork digital mapping system KDMS software
  • Leica AEROPLAN LiDAR flight planning software
  • MapInfo software
  • Mapthematics GeoCart
  • Master Seafloor Digital Database
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Word
  • MultiGen Paradigm Vega Prime
  • Oracle software
  • Precision analytical aerotriangulation pugging software
  • Python
  • Quark Immedia
  • QuarkXPress
  • Rand McNally World Digital Database
  • SAP software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Steroplotter software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Sybase SQL Server
  • Terrasolid TerraScan
  • World Vector Shoreline

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980