Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists
SOC: 19-2099.01


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
28,500 employed

Projected (2024):
28,800 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:

  • All Source Intelligence Analyst
  • Geophysics Scientist
  • Geospatial Image Analyst
  • Geospatial Intelligence Analyst
  • Image Scientist
  • LIDAR Analyst (Light Detection and Ranging Analyst)
  • LIDAR Scientist (Light Detection and Ranging Scientist)
  • Measurement and Signatures Intelligence Analyst
  • Microwave Remote Sensing Scientist
  • Physical Scientist
  • Radar Scientist
  • Remote Sensing Analyst
  • Remote Sensing Certified Mapping Scientist
  • Remote Sensing Engineer
  • Remote Sensing Program Manager
  • Remote Sensing Research Scientist
  • Remote Sensing Scientist
  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Remote Sensing Technologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Sensor Specialist
  • Signal Intelligence Analyst
  • Spectral Scientist
  • Thermal Intelligence Analyst
  • Weather Algorithm Scientist

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    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.


    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).

    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.

    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
  • Operation and Control
  • 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
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Analyze data acquired from aircraft, satellites, or ground-based platforms, using statistical analysis software, image analysis software, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Develop or build databases for remote sensing or related geospatial project information.
  • Integrate other geospatial data sources into projects.
  • Prepare or deliver reports or presentations of geospatial project information.
  • Organize and maintain geospatial data and associated documentation.
  • Process aerial or satellite imagery to create products such as land cover maps.
  • Design or implement strategies for collection, analysis, or display of geographic data.
  • Direct all activity associated with implementation, operation, or enhancement of remote sensing hardware or software.
  • Collect supporting data, such as climatic or field survey data, to corroborate remote sensing data analyses.
  • Compile and format image data to increase its usefulness.
  • Conduct research into the application or enhancement of remote sensing technology.
  • Discuss project goals, equipment requirements, or methodologies with colleagues or team members.
  • Develop automated routines to correct for the presence of image distorting artifacts, such as ground vegetation.
  • Develop new analytical techniques or sensor systems.
  • Manage or analyze data obtained from remote sensing systems to obtain meaningful results.
  • Monitor quality of remote sensing data collection operations to determine if procedural or equipment changes are necessary.
  • Direct installation or testing of new remote sensing hardware or software.
  • Attend meetings or seminars or read current literature to maintain knowledge of developments in the field of remote sensing.
  • Participate in fieldwork.
  • Recommend new remote sensing hardware or software acquisitions.
  • Set up or maintain remote sensing data collection systems.
  • Train technicians in the use of remote sensing technology.
  • 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:

  • Airborne imaging systems
  • Desktop computers
  • Doppler Rayleigh laser imaging ranging and detecting LIDAR systems
  • Hyperspectral imaging equipment
  • Mainframe computers
  • Multispectral imaging equipment
  • Personal computers
  • Spaceborne imaging systems
  • Spectral imaging systems
  • Synthetic aperture radar SAR
  • Thermal imaging systems
  • BAE Systems SOCET GXP
  • C
  • C++
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Gamma Remote Sensing software
  • Image processing software
  • Interface definition language IDL
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Oracle Java
  • PCI Geomatics Geomatica
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • UNIX
  • Web browser software

  • life physical and social science

    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220