Remote Sensing Technicians
SOC: 19-4099.03


Apply remote sensing technologies to assist scientists in areas such as natural resources, urban planning, or homeland security. May prepare flight plans or sensor configurations for flight trips.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
78,200 employed

Projected (2024):
83,500 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 Photo Lab Manager Digital Imaging/CAD Tech
  • Aerial Sensing Equipment/Camera and Lidar/Geospatial Extraction
  • Compiler
  • Digital Cartographic Technician
  • Document Image Technician
  • Geospatial Extractor, Analysis
  • Graphics Edit Technician
  • Information Assurance
  • IP/Mosaic Technician
  • LIDAR Technician (Light Detection and Ranging Technician)
  • Meteorologist Liaison
  • Mosaic Technician
  • Orthophoto Tech/Draftsman
  • Photogrammetric Tech
  • Production Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Project Manager-Process Development
  • Project/Production Manager Imaging
  • Remote Sensing Technician
  • Remote Sensing Technologist
  • Research Associate
  • Senior Research Analyst
  • Senior Science Consultant
  • Senior Stereo Compiler Team Lead

  • 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
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • 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
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Participate in the planning or development of mapping projects.
  • Maintain records of survey data.
  • Document methods used and write technical reports containing information collected.
  • Develop specialized computer software routines to customize and integrate image analysis.
  • Collect verification data on the ground, using equipment such as global positioning receivers, digital cameras, or notebook computers.
  • Verify integrity and accuracy of data contained in remote sensing image analysis systems.
  • Prepare documentation or presentations, including charts, photos, or graphs.
  • Operate airborne remote sensing equipment, such as survey cameras, sensors, or scanners.
  • Monitor raw data quality during collection and make equipment corrections as necessary.
  • Merge scanned images or build photo mosaics of large areas, using image processing software.
  • Integrate remotely sensed data with other geospatial data.
  • Evaluate remote sensing project requirements to determine the types of equipment or computer software necessary to meet project requirements, such as specific image types or output resolutions.
  • Develop or maintain geospatial information databases.
  • Correct raw data for errors due to factors such as skew or atmospheric variation.
  • Calibrate data collection equipment.
  • Consult with remote sensing scientists, surveyors, cartographers, or engineers to determine project needs.
  • Adjust remotely sensed images for optimum presentation by using software to select image displays, define image set categories, or choose processing routines.
  • Manipulate raw data to enhance interpretation, either on the ground or during remote sensing flights.
  • Collect geospatial data, using technologies such as aerial photography, light and radio wave detection systems, digital satellites, or thermal energy systems.
  • Collaborate with agricultural workers to apply remote sensing information to efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
  • Collect remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities involved in assessing the impact of environmental change.
  • Provide remote sensing data for use in addressing environmental issues, such as surface water modeling or dust cloud detection.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Field computers
  • Gamma ray scintillometers
  • Geophysical magnetometers
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hyperspectral imaging equipment
  • Laptop computers
  • Large format printers
  • Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems
  • Multispectral imaging equipment
  • Personal computers
  • Photo enlargers
  • Plotters
  • Radiometers
  • Synthetic aperture radar SAR
  • Thermal infrared remote sensing equipment
  • Thermal infrared sensors
  • Web servers
  • Applied Imagery Quick Terrain Modeler
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • BAE Systems SOCET SET
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Common MASINT Exploitation Tool COMET
  • Corpscon
  • Definiens Developer
  • ESRI ArcCatalog
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcMap
  • ESRI ArcView 3D Analyst
  • GeoCue Corporation GeoCue software
  • GeoCue Corporation PointVue LE
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Interface definition language IDL
  • ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI
  • Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR system software
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Word
  • Opticks
  • Oracle software
  • Python
  • R
  • SAS software
  • Terrasolid TerraScan
  • 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