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Career profile Geospatial Analyst

Also known as Aerotriangulation Specialist, Engineering Technician, Geospatial Analyst, Mapping Editor, Mapping Technician, Photogrammetric Compilation Specialist, Photogrammetric Technician, Stereoplotter Operator, Survey Technician, Tax Map Technician

Geospatial Analyst

Also known as Aerotriangulation Specialist, Engineering Technician, Geospatial Analyst

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$29,110 - $77,480 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Mathematics
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Collect information needed to carry out new surveys, using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, or other relevant information.
  • Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, electronic distance measuring equipment, or electronic data collectors.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of workers engaged in surveying, plotting data, drafting maps, or producing blueprints, photostats, or photographs.
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What does a Geospatial Analyst do?

Geospatial Analysts perform surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist, to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes.

In addition, Geospatial Analysts

  • may calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features,
  • may verify accuracy and completeness of maps.

What kind of tasks does a Geospatial Analyst perform regularly?

Geospatial Analysts are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.
  • Check all layers of maps to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Design or develop information databases that include geographic or topographic data.
  • Monitor mapping work or the updating of maps to ensure accuracy, inclusion of new or changed information, or compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Produce or update overlay maps to show information boundaries, water locations, or topographic features on various base maps or at different scales.
  • Determine scales, line sizes, or colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Identify and compile database information to create requested maps.
  • Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.
  • Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.
  • Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.
  • Analyze aerial photographs to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Research and combine existing property information to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, or land boundary adjustments.
  • Trace contours or topographic details to generate maps that denote specific land or property locations or geographic attributes.
  • Calculate latitudes, longitudes, angles, areas, or other information for mapmaking, using survey field notes or reference tables.
  • Compare topographical features or contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, or other reference materials to verify the accuracy of their identification.
  • Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.
  • Trim, align, and join prints to form photographic mosaics, maintaining scaled distances between reference points.

The above responsibilities are specific to Geospatial Analysts. More generally, Geospatial Analysts are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

What is a Geospatial Analyst salary?

The median salary for a Geospatial Analyst is $46,200, and the average salary is $49,770. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Geospatial Analyst salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Geospatial Analysts earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Geospatial Analysts earn less than $29,110 per year, 25% earn less than $35,760, 75% earn less than $60,430, and 90% earn less than $77,480.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Geospatial Analysts is expected to change by 3.8%, and there should be roughly 7,000 open positions for Geospatial Analysts every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$29,110 - $77,480
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Geospatial Analysts?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Geospatial Analyst are usually higher in their Conventional and Realistic interests.

Geospatial Analysts typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Geospatial Analysts typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Geospatial Analyst tend to value Support, Independence, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Geospatial Analysts moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Geospatial Analysts moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Geospatial Analysts moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Geospatial Analysts must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Geospatial Analysts, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Geospatial Analysts need?

Geospatial Analysts often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Geospatial Analysts usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Geospatial Analysts

  • 4.6% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 29.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 33.4% completed some college coursework
  • 22.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 8.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 1.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Geospatial Analysts

Geospatial Analysts may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, geography, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Geospatial Analysts might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Important Abilities needed by Geospatial Analysts

Geospatial Analysts must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Geospatial Analysts need abilities such as near vision, written comprehension, and mathematical reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Geospatial Analysts, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Mathematical Reasoning
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Geospatial Analysts

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Geospatial Analysts frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and mathematics to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Geospatial Analysts, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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