GIS Programmer Jobs: Does It Have the Most Demand in GIS?

What Does a GIS Developer do? How Much Money Does a GIS Developer Make?

gis programmer job-profile
Do you want to be a GIS programmer? This may be the biggest opportunity in Geographic Information Systems as it always seems to be in highest demand. But what kind of tasks will you do as a developer? And how much money can you potentially make?

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2017

GIS Developer Job Information

If you’re going to be working as a GIS software developer, you’re pretty much going to be a software developer with a concentration in GIS.

Programmers need to be focused because you’re going to be writing, examining and error-checking code. GIS developers need to learn fast on their feet.

You could be making websites or web applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Or you could design geospatial applications for field collection, reporting and other GIS activities using Python, C# and JavaScript.

READ MORE: Free GIS Programming Tutorials: Learn How To Code

Today, we examine in detail the life of a GIS developer:

How do GIS developers salaries stack up around the world?

What is the average GIS developer salary?

GIS development and programming is a growing field in Geomatics. By writing code you can make the machine do what you want.

GIS developers enjoy higher salaries than an average GIS position. But they require a higher level of education or combination of work experience.

A lot of GIS application developer positions are usually accompanied with a computer science degree or certificate.

GIS Developer Salaries Map

READ MORE: GIS Salary Expectations: Climb the GIS Career Ladder

GIS Developer Job Advantages/Disadvantages

GIS developers, in general, have more job stability. This is because software development and computer programming are growing fields.




It’s easier for GIS programmers to land a job because it takes a highly skilled individual to write code and working programs. No two developers will write the same code. Building an application used by people is often a great feeling for programmers.

GIS programmers have higher pay rates. But it can really take years to be able to program well.

From level of importance, here are some of the programming languages you can expect: Javascript, Python, C# and .NET. Most widely used Visual Basic, Python, HTML, Javascript, XML and Flex. Reduction in amount in aging Arc Macro Language (AML) and Avenue.

The Primary Job Duties of a GIS Developer

What are the primary tasks of a GIS developer?

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  • Programming is the process of writing code and automating redundant GIS processes. Typical programming languages in GIS are Python, SQL, C++, Visual Basic and Java. (GIS Programming, Web Development & Design, Software Application Development, Software Application Lifestyle)
  • Spatial Analysis uses techniques to manipulate, extract, locate and analyze geographic data. Spatial analysis examples include buffering, clipping and exploring the relationships between map feature. (GIS Analysis, GIS Modeling, Data Integration & Conversion, Data Analysis, Geocoding, Geomatics)
  • Database management offers insight on how to store and extract information from structured sets of geographic data. (Database Development, Data Management, Database Administration, Data Management Services, Asset Management Consulting)
    Web Mapping is the process of interactively displaying, processing or analyzing spatial content on the world wide web.

Complimentary Job Duties




  • Cartography is the study of creating maps. The origin comes from charta – “tablet or leaf of paper” and graph – “to draw”. (GIS Cartography, Information Management, Softcopy Mapping, Web Mapping, GIS Mapping, ArcGIS Map Design, Quality control/assurance)
  • Remote sensing involves satellite or aerial imagery to map the Earth. Remote sensing is the study of attaining data without physically being there. (Remote Sensing Analysis, Satellite/Airphoto Interpretation, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Soil Classification)

Example GIS Developer Tasks

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  • Develop, test, debug and maintain an array of custom web based GIS applications, tools and supporting web services using standard software lifecycle processes
  • Support the infrastructure by maintaining and developing new capabilities in Microsoft .Net.
  • Develop software in an agile development process by working with stakeholders to refine developed products.
  • Perform web and mobile application development using JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, AJAX for the Esri ArcGIS platform
  • Provide support, troubleshooting, modifications, enhancements and maintenance for existing GIS applications, scripts, tools and web services.
  • Create and maintain system related documentation.

Accompanying Software

From level of importance, here are some of the programming languages you can expect: Javascript, Python, C# and .NET.

Most widely used Visual Basic, Python, HTML, Javascript, XML and Flex. Reduction in amount in aging Arc Macro Language (AML) and Avenue.

GIS Programming, Web Development & Design, Software Application Development

2 Comments

  1. If not Python, SQL, C++, Visual Basic and Java what other programs will need to be mastered to be able to perform the duties required for a GIS Developer? Thanks

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