Getting the GIS Career You Want
Here’s a scenario you may be familiar with:
You applied for a GIS job you want, and land an interview. You answer each GIS interview question including your professional background and why you’re interested in the position. But then they hit you with the unexpected:
“What are your salary expectations for this GIS job?”
Employers ask this question because it’s a quick way to filter candidates with overly high expectations. You can answer too high and eliminate yourself from the competition. Or you can answer too low and undervalue your work potential for the GIS job.
So how do you answer the GIS salary question during interviews?
Here are some options:
- Don’t get caught off-guard. Prepare your salary expectation beforehand
- Don’t list a salary range, if you’d be unhappy taking the lowest end of it.
- Research comparable GIS salaries. The labor market sets the price.
What are comparable GIS salaries?
The problem with GIS salary surveys is they can be outdated a year after they were taken. We know historic survey data is not a true reflection of the current job market.
How much are current jobs paying in GIS? What is the market rate for GIS jobs?
I bet you didn’t know that GIS salary data is readily available at your fingertips with Indeed’s salary search. You get a sneak peak at the labor market rate for GIS jobs. What do employers set the price at?
With millions of job titles to search, Indeed.com gives you statistically significant median salaries. New salaries are added daily. Median salaries are averaged over the previous 12 months.
Now, you must be eager to see how Geographic Information System careers stack up to the competition. Not only do we get a glimpse on average salaries, we can learn how far a GIS career can take you. How far can you climb the GIS career pyramid? Is there room for advancement? We’ve summarized everything in a sharable, eye-pleasing GIS Career and Salary Infographic.
GIS Salary Ranges
CAD Drafter – $40,000
Senior GIS Analyst – $65,000
Senior CAD Engineer – $70,000
Senior CAD Designer – $82,000
GIS Career Options
Geomatics brings a range of different career options. At the lower end of the pay scale are technicians and draftsmen. Skills include databases, analysis and mapping. Don’t let pay scale fool you though. Analysts, technicians and draftsmen do all the heavy lifting for project workloads.
As we move higher in the salary range, we see specialized skills. Remote sensing and LiDAR analysts are in the mid-range pay scale range. Software developers and programmers have specialized skills for this range too.
Senior GIS positions are on the top of the salary list. For example, GIS project managers require the experience and education to plan, execute and close projects. Senior geomatics software engineers need the education to design, develop and maintain software. Education and experience are the main reasons why these positions constantly rank at the top of the GIS pay scale.
Pursuing a GIS Career
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in GIS, it can be very fulfiling.
The reality is that GIS affects our daily lives. Planning a pipeline, navigating a ship or fighting wildfires. These are real-life problems that require spatial thinking.
On this fact alone, GIS has expanded into countless disciplines. This GIS salary guide gives the market rate for a variety of geomatics positions.
Don’t be caught tongue-tied when asked the GIS salary expectation question next interview.
Did you find some more GIS careers we’ve missed? What are some discrepencies with our salary data – and how different are they?
Let us know in the comments.
Indeed (2014, December 30). Salary Information. Retrieved from Indeed Salary Search