What are comparable GIS salaries and pay scale?
The problem with GIS salary surveys is they can be outdated a year after they were taken.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.
If you’ve just finished reading our list of 10 career tips to get a GIS job, your next question must be:
How much are current jobs paying in GIS? Or 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. While 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? Also, is there room for advancement?
We’ve summarized everything in a sharable, eye-pleasing GIS Career and Salary Infographic… or should I say InfoGeographic.
GIS Salary Ranges and Pay Scale
CAD Drafter – $40,000
Senior GIS Analyst – $65,000
Senior CAD Engineer – $70,000
Senior CAD Designer – $82,000
What are your GIS career options?
The field of Geomatics brings a range of different career options. At the lower end of the pay scale, technicians and draftsmen typically earn the least. Often, skills include databases, analysis and mapping. But 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 salary range, we see more specialized skilled professions. For example, remote sensing and LiDAR analysts are in the mid-range pay scale range. Also in this pay scale are software developers who write code in GIS programming.
Senior GIS positions are on the top of the salary list. For example, GIS project managers 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.
Turns out, there’s a whole list of alternative search terms to find GIS jobs that you can use. Because it’s sometimes just better to start thinking outside the box.
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.
Do you want to pursue a GIS career?
If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in GIS, it can be very fulfilling.
But the reality is that Geographic Information Systems affects our daily lives. For example, GIS is at work when you plan a pipeline, navigate a ship or fight a wildfire. All of these are real-life problems that require spatial thinking.
All things considered, GIS has expanded into countless disciplines. Literally, there are thousands of GIS applications as industries are often slow at adopting new technology. In this GIS salary guide, we give the market rate for a variety of geomatics positions.
During your next interview, don’t get tongue-tied when they ask you about your GIS salary expectations.
Did we miss any GIS careers?
Let us know in the comments.
Indeed (2016, January 5). Salary Information. Retrieved from Indeed Salary Search