dcsimg

Gis Specialist

Job Duties

Geographic information systems (GIS) specialists use specialized computer programs and software to create maps. The world of cartography (map making) has undergone significant changes in the last decade. Most of this change revolves around the emerging technology of GIS, a type of software that can combine socioeconomic, demographic, political, and environmental data. GIS specialists use this software to create maps or graphs. They consult with users to identify the needs of their project and determine the necessary applications. They conduct research and locate any existing databases that may help with the project. They gather data and figure out how to best display it using GIS software.

The data they collect may come from a number of different types of sources, such as aerial photographs, existing maps, satellite photography, and field analysis. They apply their knowledge of spatial feature representations to design appropriate databases. They often use digitizers or direct inputs to enter and coordinate information about the land. They are also responsible for maintaining the various GIS equipment, including plotters, digitizers, color printers, and video cameras.

Job Skills

GIS specialists should have good visual abilities. Excellent eyesight, coordination, and hearing to communicate if they work in the field. They should also be in good physical shape. Teamwork is essential in this profession, and GIS specialists must be very good at working cooperatively with other people. They should also have good clerical, organizational, and research skills.

Income

In 2002, GIS specialists earned a median annual salary of $42,870. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $25,810, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $69,320.

Training and Education

Most GIS specialists have a bachelor's degree in engineering, forestry, geography, physical sciences, or a related discipline. Others have earned GIS certificates through colleges and universities offering these programs. One of the most desirable educational backgrounds is GIS training combined with a bachelor's degree in business, sociology, political science, or economics. Some specialists enter the occupation by starting as a technician and working their way up as they gain experience. This is changing because most positions require specialized training from a postsecondary college or school. Technical skills, especially in computers, is becoming a prerequisite for entry into the profession. High school students interested in developing a career as a GIS specialist should take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, drafting, mechanical drawing, and computer science. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.

Employment

In 2002, GIS specialists and closely related workers held about 124,000 jobs. Two-thirds worked in architectural, engineering, and related services. About 1 in 6 worked fro Federal, State, and local government agencies.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of GIS specialists is expected to increase about as fast as the average. Advancing technologies will improve the productivity of these workers, which will somewhat inhibit job growth. However, workers who leave the occupation will still need to be replaced. Most job opportunities will be concentrated in architectural, engineering, and related services. New opportunities will arise in the areas of urban planning, emergency preparedness, and natural resource exploration and mapping. Opportunities will be best for those who have the strongest technical and computer skills and at least a bachelor's degree.


Gis Specialist Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Good for Working Adults
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            Platt College , Ontario
            Good for Working Adults
            • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
            • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
            • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
            • 3 campuses in Southern California.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            UEI College , Ontario
            Good for Working Adults
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            Good for Working Adults
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid

            See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

            Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

            • Online Courses

            Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person). The strong liberal arts foundation promotes an environment of open-minded investigation and debate and attends to developing students beyond their academic accomplishments, while maintaining high academic standards. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

            • Online Courses
            Good for Working Adults
            • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Good for Working Adults
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            100% Online & No Standardized Testing

            We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits