GIS Technologist

Be the techie who knows everything about GIS software.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$42,000 – $118,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do GIS Technologists do?

A geographic information systems (GIS) product may look like a map, but it’s really a very sophisticated database that contains an incredible amount of information about a specific place. GIS Geographers research the area and ask GIS Technicians to draw the maps in GIS computer programs. Without the software, people would be lost.

A GIS Technologist ensures that never happens. GIS Technologists are GIS software experts.

As a GIS Technologist, you’re the first person others turn to when they’re having GIS software problems. If data is lost, the program freezes up, reports won’t print, or details won’t show, your phone rings. Sometimes, the user is responsible for the error, and you explain why the problem is occurring. Other times, you must dig into the software to find the bug and fix it.

Periodically, you look at how your GIS software is performing for your company, and you look for new versions that might help your team do the job a bit quicker. If you find a version of GIS software you love, and you’ve tested it thoroughly, you recommend it to your GIS Coordinator. If your company buys the program, you train all GIS staff to use it.

At times, you’re asked to work as a GIS Technician, and you roll up your sleeves, input data, and print out GIS maps for the team. Major deadlines can be hard to meet without a group effort, and you have the skills and knowledge to assist. When the deadline passes, however, you go back to managing software. Unlike GIS Technicians, GIS Technologists are rarely involved in day-to-day GIS data entry and printing.

Should I be a GIS Technologist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Geospatial Technologist, GIS Analyst, GIS Engineer, GIS Manager, GIS Technician

    How to become a GIS Technologist

    Most GIS Technologists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aeo9va&chl=|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2814%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2861%25%29|master%27s+%2821%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,61
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