GIS Salary and Pay Scale Expectations
What is the typical GIS salary? What are the highest-paying GIS jobs? How much money can you make in GIS?
GIS is a diverse field. It’s diverse for pay scale too with average GIS salary ranging from $40,000 to over $100,000.
This is why we’ve outlined GIS salary ranges in a pyramid infographic.
Let’s get started.
Low-end GIS salary careers (40,000$-60,000$)
The field of geomatics brings a range of career options. At the lower end of the pay scale, technicians and draftsmen typically earn the least.
These positions are tasked with grunt work. For example, they often involve basic roles in databases, analysis, and mapping. Editing data and writing metadata also play big roles in these types of careers.
But don’t let the pay scale fool you though. GIS technicians, draftsmen, and analysts do all the heavy lifting for project workloads. Without them, there wouldn’t be a solid foundation for data.
Mid-range GIS salary careers (60,000$-80,000$)
As we move higher in the salary range, we see more specialized skilled professions. For example, remote sensing and LiDAR analysts are in the mid-range pay scale range.
GIS administrators have managerial roles for large enterprise databases. Not only do they design spatial database infrastructure. But they are responsible for backup and recovery too.
Finally, we start to see senior positions such as geodesists and engineering roles. These positions need years of experience and often extra certification.
High-end GIS salary careers (>80,000$)
Senior GIS positions are on the top of the salary list. For example, GIS project managers plan, execute and close projects. Education and experience are why these positions dominate the top of the GIS pay scale.
Senior geomatics software engineers need the right education to design, develop, and maintain software. This GIS career requires the right skill set to write code in GIS programming. Finally, GIS developers are also in the high-end GIS salary careers.
Managing your GIS career and salary expectations
Here’s a scenario you may be familiar with: You apply for a GIS job you want. Then, you land an interview. But they hit you with the unexpected:
“What are your salary expectations for this GIS job?”
Employers ask this question because they can filter candidates with too high expectations. So, how do you answer the GIS salary question during interviews? Here are some options to not get tongue-tied:
- 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. For example, it’s a high-tech job that’s changing every moment.
In this GIS salary guide, we give the market rate for a variety of geomatics positions. But if you just want to get your foot in the door, we have a couple of ways that can help.
- 10 GIS Career Tips to Help Find a GIS Job
- How To Think Outside the Box For GIS Jobs
- GIS Certification: Is It Worth It?
Did we miss any GIS careers? Please let us know in the comments.
Indeed (2020, January 1). Salary Information. Retrieved from Indeed Salary Search
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- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialization by University of California (UC Davis)
- GIS, Mapping, and Spatial Analysis Specialization by the University of Toronto
- Python for Everybody Specialization by the University of Michigan