GIS Analyst Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a GIS analyst job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a GIS analyst. Feel free to use our GIS analyst job description template to produce your own GIS analyst job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a GIS analyst.
Who is a GIS Analyst?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts are people whose main responsibilities involve using mapping software to analyze spatial data and create digital maps using geographic information and numerous other data sets. GIS analysts gather geographic data, compile information from surveys and photos, update pre-existing maps, and sometimes even create navigational and mobile-friendly maps. You can concentrate on developing GIS software, analysis, or maps as a GIS analyst.
Organizations rely on geographic information science (GIS) for a variety of applications, including mobile games played in real-world settings and autonomous vehicle navigation. GIS analysts use best practices for spatial data collection, processing, and visualization to disclose insightful information. Their discoveries help institutions like the military, nonprofit groups that support humanitarian causes, government agencies, and scientific and technical services corporations solve problems and make strategic decisions.
Users can use spatial data to further their understanding of the patterns and relationships in the environment around them as GIS technology continue to advance. Professionals must enhance their technical GIS knowledge and spatial thinking abilities to fully realize this potential. Investigating the GIS competencies that are most demanded in today’s firms may be a crucial first step if you’re interested in pursuing a career at the cutting edge of geospatial thinking.
What it Takes to Succeed in this Career Path
The first step in becoming a successful geographical problem solver is to build a toolkit of essential GIS skills. Roles in this industry require both technical expertise and creative thinking, therefore it’s important to get quite familiar with a wide range of fundamental platforms, tools, and techniques.
GIS analysts are in charge of gathering precise data, producing intricate maps, and conducting in-depth analyses. They can provide fresh insights into the physical processes and social interactions that occur on the surface of the globe by studying techniques for data processing and cartographic design. Experts can identify notable links in the data and reach meaningful conclusions when they have a theoretical understanding of geographic interconnections.
Some skills required to thrive in this role are as follows:
Data collection and evaluation: Create, keep up with, and update a database using data from many sources, including surveys, remote sensors, and digital maps. Check the accuracy and value of the results.
Visualization: Transform geographical data into understandable graphic representations with a variety of insightful discoveries.
Data Analysis: To inform planning or strategy, and identify key linkages or trends in geographic data.
Modeling: creating representations of objects or features using GIS software that take into consideration crucial characteristics and connections.
GIS Analyst Job Description
What is a GIS analyst job description? A GIS analyst job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a GIS analyst in an organization. Below are the GIS analyst job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a GIS analyst job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a GIS analyst include the following:
- Use mapping tools to carefully examine spatial data.
- Map data spatially to identify patterns and trends.
- Create digital maps using geographic information and other sources of data.
- Create “shapefiles” to combine topographical information with outside information by putting outside information on top of a topographical map.
- Create maps displaying the spatial distribution of various types of data, such as hospital sites and crime statistics.
- Create digital versions of physical maps for use on computers.
- Do data munging and cleaning to transform data into the desired form.
- Use data visualization to produce reports based on geographic information.
- Control a digital collection of several file types of maps.
- Create a map region and create symbols utilizing design and cartography ideas.
- Create customized products and check and update geographical data, and overlay maps over aerial photography.
- Calculate distances and perform common spatial analyses like buffering and spatial overlays.
- Analyze and fix data issues using spatial and logical analysis.
- Transform spatial data between different coordinate systems.
- Use survey monuments, GPS, and other data as controls for georeferencing digital maps to ensure that they correspond to actual ground locations.
- Participate in the creation and implementation of somewhat complicated queries, scripts, and instructions.
- operate devices designed for GIS, such as large-format plotters and scanners.
- Gather field data with the aid of GPS or other tools.
- Meet with departmental staff to determine and analyze user requirements for GIS applications.
- Participate in the planning, design, development, testing, and implementation of GIS applications with internal customers and central agency staff.
- Manage project timetables and update supervisors on task progress by writing technical and non-technical audiences-appropriate reports.
- Create products with a great degree of customization, such as scripts and complicated queries for data filtration to ensure that activities are completed within the allotted timeframes.
- Establish geocoding services, keep an eye on the processing processes, and carry out quality assurance.
- Make unique menus and tools for both new and current applications.
- Utilize programming languages and development tools to create programs.
- Act as the departmental project manager or business analyst.
- Geospatial intelligence: the skills and expertise needed to evaluate spatial data and imagery and serve as a decision-making tool in situations like military operations and disaster relief. Intelligence gathering abilities are linked to higher pay in job ads for GIS analysts.
- Remote sensing: methods and resources for gathering data from sources like social media, text-scraping, mobile devices, and satellite photography.
- Photogrammetry: capture and examine spatial data from aerial and satellite surveys to produce maps that can be overlaid with GIS information.
- Structured Query Language (SQL): a programming language with specialized functions for maintaining relational databases.
- Python: a general-purpose programming language that is often employed for creating graphical user interfaces and managing relational databases.
- A degree in engineering, geography, surveying, computer science, or a closely related subject.
- knowledge of database programming languages like Python, R, and SQL.
- knowledge with mapping applications like QGIS and Carto.
- knowledge of GPS measurement equipment.
- Expertise in spatial modeling and mapping techniques, such as vector and raster data, is required for GIS analysts. GIS databases are used by so many companies to store location-based data. They all require the skills of a GIS analyst. As a GIS analyst, you may utilize this information to create digital maps, spot patterns, and trends, and convert paper maps into comprehensible data sets that produce fresh insights.
- Because they combine data analysis, programming, and cartography in their work. The ideal GIS analyst would be meticulous and an expert problem-solver. A GIS analyst must possess an analytical approach. The tools a GIS analyst employs are essential for combining data sets to produce new knowledge or identify patterns.
- Basic Programming Knowledge: Every GIS specialist eventually picks up how to utilize one or more fundamental software programs. Some people are extremely strong and capable of astonishing things. Even yet, you could still need to automate a process, carry out a challenging study, or just standardize labor that is scattered across several departments or individuals. This is when some fundamental programming knowledge is useful. You can solve the majority of your fundamental scripting problems with Net and Python code. When you want to create the best new web application on the market, you can either hire a dedicated programmer or outsource your work to one of the many GIS consulting firms in existence.
- Involvement in Professional Organizations: Professional groups unite individuals with comparable backgrounds, goals, and challenges in the workplace. These forums give you the chance to seek assistance, give back to your sector, and keep up with the latest geospatial information and products.
- A Great Network: Work on expanding your network, supporting it, and, most importantly, keeping it alive; though it requires effort, it is worthwhile. You must learn to build and value your network as a GIS analyst. There are many people out there who have more experience than you do and have encountered difficulties similar to yours who are prepared to point you in the proper direction. Or perhaps there will be others in your situation who are dealing with the same problems. You’ll be able to share your suffering and perhaps even lend a hand.
Additionally, your network is where you will find your future job. Long before they are posted, your network will be aware of job openings. You might be hired directly, but the advantages might be a little more circumstantial. Your involvement in the industry will not only broaden your knowledge and abilities (and look fantastic on your resume), but it will also help you build a network of people to whom you can turn when you’re ready to move on. They’ll serve as your strongest supporters and advisors. If you haven’t already realized it, becoming active in all those professional organizations increases the size of your network significantly.
- Keep Learning: Step periodically outside of your comfort zone. In a year or two, the brand-new, intricate tools and widgets you see today might become commonplace and simplified. Getting familiar with those fresh options now keeps you up to date and enables you to better adjust to future developments in the business. Attend a coding class to master the basics, and lightning talks to see what fascinating projects your fellow map nerds are working on. Take advantage of the services that all those groups are offering because they are all working to improve your situation. You might need to plan your finances a year in advance and occasionally beg and bribe. But keep asking for further instruction. Your career and skill set are yours to manage. You must exert effort to improve yourself.
- Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills: You will deal with a wide range of mapping requests and analytical problems in your role as a GIS analyst. You might be working on managing the right-of-way for city streets one day, simulating storm surge the next, and subsequently merging datasets from several sources into a single, centralized catalog. Can you analyze the situation and come up with logical solutions for what has to be done and how to do it?
There is something to be said for sitting down and outlining the steps you’ll need to take, the challenges along the road, and the strategy you’re going to take. Some of that knowledge comes with time and experience. Discuss it with a coworker and consider the difficulties you may face. Every situation that could occur during each stage of the procedure must be able to enter your head. The tasks become more challenging as you work on bigger projects, and applying critical thinking early on in the planning phase begins to pay off.
- Project Management Skills: The chance to work on so many different kinds of projects are the nicest aspect of what we do. And the majority of the time, several of those initiatives are underway simultaneously. You will constantly have to manage many projects, stakeholder expectations, and schedule restrictions. Above all, collaboration and communication are essential to any project’s success. Maintain communication with your stakeholders, adhere to timelines, and deliver consistently better than expected.
How to Become a GIS Analyst
- GIS Analyst High School Recommendations: Your specific field of interest may determine the prerequisites for a job in geographic information systems analysis, particularly when considering early developmental education pathways. Computer science, earth science, geography, or wildlife education may be pertinent high school courses.
Applications in 4H, technology, or science might make a candidate stand out through extracurricular activities. Additionally advised are clubs that foster interpersonal abilities, such as speaking, debate, and student government.
- GIS Analyst College Education Requirements: An undergraduate or graduate degree in geography, computer science, surveying, engineering, forestry, or earth science is typically required of GIS analysts. Consider taking specialist classes in GIS or mapping to get started if you can. Undergraduates frequently have access to an environmental GIS emphasis. Statistics, mapping, remote sensing, geography, and environmental science are among other major areas of interest.
A master’s degree is not necessary for many GIS-related careers. If you have a certain career path in mind, the majority of entry-level employment offers special experience or specialized on-the-job training to enhance specific skills. Your job path could be accelerated by earning a GIS master’s degree.
Normally, it takes four years to finish a bachelor’s degree, and an extra two years to complete a master’s degree. Many entry-level jobs don’t call for prior experience. However, having at least 2-4 years of GIS-related experience can provide you an advantage over the competition if you are looking for a more advanced career path. Related Degrees to GIS Analysis include the following:
- Geoscience: This minor includes topics such as the evolution of landforms, erosion, and sedimentation, water quality, Geographic Information Systems, and more.
- Database Management: This route focuses on the most recent productivity breakthroughs in the computer sector and examines databases in businesses and organizations.
- Environmental Geographic Information Science: This advanced degree includes important GIS subjects like data analysis and employing geoprocessing tools.
- Land Surveying/Cartography: These degrees offer a thorough review of the connections, mapping, and spatial organization of land.
- Additional Certifications and Licenses: All cartographers and photogrammetrists must obtain a surveying license in some states, but this is not always the case for a GIS Analyst. In general, certified GIS analysts should expect to make more money than uncertified ones.
For seasoned GIS experts, the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI) offers a particularly well-liked certificate program. Applicants must complete educational and professional requirements as well as a pass in written exams to participate in continuing education.
Societies and Professional Organizations for GIS Analysts:
- The Association for Geographic Information: A UK-based company that encourages networking opportunities and ties the GI community together.
- Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS): A group of academics and researchers with experience in the development, use, and use of geospatial technologies and data.
- Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA): A group of professionals who want to improve the geospatial community through activism, connection, and education.
- GIS Certification Institute (GISCI): A nonprofit company that grants GIS experts licensing and ongoing education.
- Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS): a company that specializes in the commercial applications of surveying, mapping, remote sensing, and GIS.
- Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA): Throughout a GIS analyst’s career, URISA offers resources and outreach for geographical difficulties and obstacles.
Where to Work as a GIS Analyst
- Environmental services
- Natural resource exploration Centers
- Consulting agencies
- Engineering companies
GIS Analyst Salary Scale
GIS analysts are categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) alongside cartographers and photogrammetrists. The BLS reported that the median annual wage for cartographers and photogrammetrists was $68,380 in 2020, which is an increase from $64,430 in 2018.
Junior GIS Analyst salaries typically range from $40 to $50k per year on the national level, mostly based on experience level, job responsibilities, and location of employment. For someone who might be a project manager, developer, or engineer, a senior GIS Analyst’s compensation ranges from $88 to 108K per year.
GIS officers often start out making between £18,000 and £25,000 per year.
With more work experience, you may make around £30,000.
Senior level positions, such as team leader or project manager, can pay salaries of more than £40,000.