GIS Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a GIS technician job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a GIS technician. Feel free to use our GIS technician job description template to produce your own GIS technician job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a GIS technician.


Who is a GIS Technician?

A GIS Technician develops and maintains geographical information systems. They use software to make maps, analyze data, and control the GIS database.

GIS technicians develop specialized maps and GIS applications for businesses and governmental organizations. They maintain the data entered into the GIS database, gather and integrate cartographic data, and create maps using design tools.

As a GIS technician, you handle the data recorded in your GIS database, interpret maps, and work with digital land data. After a few years of working as a GIS technician, a person might become a cartographer. Data modeling, data entry and updating, spatial or topographical analysis, and geographic data management could be some of your duties. A GIS technician manages a database but does not use the data.

In addition to their regular duties, GIS technicians also plan or oversee the creation of integrated spatial or non-spatial databases for GIS. They may also use coordinate geometry, keyboard entry of tabular data, manual digitization of maps, scanning or automatic conversion to vectors, or conversion of other digital data sources to enter data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases.

GIS Technicians offer customers or clients technical support on a weekly to monthly basis regarding the upkeep, creation, or use of geographic information systems (gis) databases, tools, or applications. To stay updated on advancements in geographic information systems (gis) technology, apparatus, or systems, they might also read recent literature, consult with colleagues, further their education, or partake in professional associations or conferences.

Additionally, they construct, model, or analyze geospatial data utilizing sophisticated spatial analysis, data manipulation, or cartographic tools.

While responsibilities may vary, many of them involve choosing the cartographic components necessary for the presentation of information. Some GIS technicians are also in charge of updating or maintaining the databases for already-existing geographic information systems.

GIS technicians will be required to assist organizations and enterprises in using GIS and spatial analysis to improve decision-making. Additionally, organizations will require GIS specialists to develop new GIS applications and maintain their current GIS systems.

More technical skills are becoming more and more necessary as technology develops. GIS technicians need to advance their technical knowledge and master new technologies to stay on top of the game. They will be able to serve their customers and stay abreast of industry advancements.

People who are good at using open source software will be in high demand as companies explore methods to save costs without compromising quality. By being knowledgeable about open source software, they can establish themselves as authorities in their industry and discover chances for professional development.

GIS technicians will need to collaborate closely with other departments to develop solutions that fit the demands of the business as companies explore new ways to use GIS technology.

GIS technicians work in offices, computer labs, and outdoor areas. They could work for governmental organizations, for-profit businesses, or consultancy firms. GIS technicians who work in offices spend most of the time in front of a computer creating maps and doing analyses using specialized software. Additionally, they might invest time in looking up data sources like census statistics and aerial photos. In labs, GIS technicians work on big projects that involve numerous computers. They might also create and evaluate brand-new hardware or software products. GIS technicians may use GPS receivers and other surveying tools to gather data while on the field. Additionally, they could collaborate with environmental experts to track and research environmental issues like air and water quality.


GIS Technician Job Description

What is a GIS technician job description? A GIS technician job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a GIS technician in an organization. Below are the GIS technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a GIS technician 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 technician include the following:

  • Add geographic information and satellite imaging to a management system.
  • Utilize specialized tools, such as drones, laser scanners, and advanced GPS, to assemble visual data, such as satellite images, geological surveys, and aerial photographs.
  • Maintain close contact with project teams, engineers, and clients.
  • Provide technical GIS reports or drawings to aid in making business decisions.
  • Find and fix mistakes on maps and design drawings.
  • Resize or transfer data from original photographs to maps or other images.
  • Use methods like coordinate geometry, keyboard entry of tabular data, manual digitization of maps, scanning or automatic conversion to vectors, or conversion of other digital data sources to enter data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases.
  • Upkeep or alterations to current Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases



  • Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, geography or computer science, or a similar field
  • Experience in internship or apprenticeship as a GIS technician
  • Knowledge of Integrated GPS and GIS principles
  • Knowledge of computer programming and data analysis
  • Ability to use design software, including AutoCAD and ArcView


Essential Skills

To succeed, GIS technicians must possess the following abilities:

  • Analytical

GIS technicians use their analytical skills to solve issues and make choices. They examine facts and choose the best answer using analytical skills. The skillset is crucial for assessing data accuracy and guaranteeing the excellence of a GIS system.

  • Communication

GIS specialists frequently collaborate on projects and interact with clients, coworkers, and other experts. They may work with people, share information, and resolve issues using communication skills. GIS technicians frequently explain technical information to clients and clarify client requirements to coworkers using their verbal and written communication abilities.

  • Database Administration

GIS technicians should understand the relationships between the various database components and the ability to construct data models. All of this complies with the original guidelines established for each project.

Additionally, they should have expertise in the SQL (Structured Query Language) computer language, as it is typically needed to administer GIS databases effectively. Relational databases are maintained using SQL, a computer language with specialized subject knowledge. It permits all activities required for database administration, including data addition, deletion, and modification.

  • Leadership qualities

In a GIS job, having a thorough understanding of management concepts and strong communication is an advantage. Experts are able to manage projects successfully and provide decision-makers with information that is strategically important when they understand how spatial data helps an organization or industry achieve goals. Great leaders of technical teams are people who combine organizational skills with analytical thinking.

GIS technicians must have a broad perspective while choosing and carrying out the best techniques for gathering, analyzing, and managing data. For instance, the technical decisions made while managing relational databases influence whether relevant insights can be quickly emphasized and distributed around other organizational departments.

A team leader needs to be able to define requirements for team members and then enforce those standards. Team members can cooperate and fulfill deadlines with resources like open-source software and project management tools. Project managers can convince executive leadership of the value of geographical data by interacting with them and ensuring that technicians have the resources they require to provide top-notch results.

GIS technicians install, set up, and debug software, hardware, and networking systems using their technical expertise. In addition, they apply technical expertise to produce and edit maps and data. For GIS professionals to do their duties, technical expertise is necessary.

  • Problem-solving abilities

GIS technicians employ these abilities to analyze software, hardware, and network system problems. They use these abilities to recognize and resolve issues using data entry and gathering.

  • Project management skills

Strong project management skills are essential for GIS technicians because they frequently work on many projects concurrently. They can be in charge of overseeing the project’s workers, money, and timeline. They could also ensure the client is satisfied with the outcome.

When working on GIS projects, knowing how to organize them is essential, especially if they are large-scale or, as is occasionally the case, numerous projects are being worked on concurrently.

This management includes several implicit behaviors such as time management, deadline setting, resource allocation, administrative tasks, etc. The success of a project depends on effective communication. To ensure that everything runs like a well-oiled machine, everyone involved, including the end client, must continually be informed of the most recent developments.

  • Geographical data expertise

A GIS technician needs to know about all the quirks and oddities of geographic information and its functions. They should be aware of what geographic information can perform. Correctly enter the data into the geographic database after editing them. Change the format of a computer file or digitize paper maps to convert data to the proper format. Keep data up to the necessary standards of quality.

  • Networking

The GIS industry is expanding. Another GIS technician may have dealt with similar challenges or obstacles if you ever run into them while working. Therefore, having peers who can help you solve problems at the push of a button is a priceless resource.

You can broaden your network outside of coworkers you know personally by using websites like LinkedIn, discussion boards devoted to geographic information systems, or other niche topics.

  • Geospatial intelligence

This skill is needed to evaluate spatial data and imagery and serve as a decision-making tool in military operations and disaster relief. Those with this skill are likely to get higher pay in job ads for GIS technicians.

  • Photogrammetry

GIS technicians use photogrammetry to collect and analyze spatial data from airborne and satellite surveys to create maps to overlay with GIS information.

  • Basic programming knowledge

GIS technicians should learn one or two programming languages as they need to use them in their careers.

One of the languages is Python. Python is currently the most popular programming language. Programmers frequently use the general-purpose language Python to manage relational databases and develop graphical user interfaces,

That said, you should still be knowledgeable in other languages, like C++, JavaScript, etc. Additionally, it will be much simpler for you to study the fundamentals of others once you have a firm grasp of their foundation.

A GIS technician should not become complacent with skills learned early on or with routines that have developed over time but are no longer as useful as they once were. A technician’s life includes ongoing education and retraining.


How to Become a GIS Technician

A GIS technician career path can be a great way to get started in the geospatial industry. It’s a field that’s growing rapidly, and there are many opportunities for growth and advancement. As a GIS technician, you’ll learn how to use mapping software and other tools to create and manage geographic data. You’ll also learn how to analyze data and make decisions based on its findings. Here is how to become a GIS technician:

Earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree

The minimum education requirement to become a GIS technician is an associate degree, though a bachelor’s degree is beneficial for advancement. Earn a degree in geography, engineering, or computer science.

Gain experience in the field

Internships are a great way for entry-level candidates to get practical experience in a profession. Complete an internship while you’re in school to apply what you learned in your classes. While you are still in school, complete an internship to put your classroom learning into practice.

Develop the required skills

GIS technicians need to be capable of critical thought and problem-solving. Additionally, they require hard skills like drafting, mapping, and a comprehensive understanding of GIS databases.

Get an advanced degree

A GIS technician can advance their knowledge by getting a master’s degree in geography, information systems, or a closely related field. A GIS technician with this degree could go on to work as a cartographer or geographer.

For GIS technicians, there are certification programs available. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing also offers a Certified GIS/LIS Technologist designation. GIS technicians must pass a written test and peer assessment to earn this.


Where to Work as a GIS Technician

  • Architectural businesses
  • Government agencies
  • Oil and gas sectors
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Scientific organizations
  • Telecommunications firms
  • Retail businesses
  • Environmental consultancy firms
  • Insurance businesses
  • Private healthcare facilities


GIS Technician Salary Scale

Salary ranges for GIS technicians depend on their level of education, the number of years of experience, and the kind of employer. Bonuses are another possible kind of compensation for them.

In the United States

GIS Technicians may make as high as $84,500 and as low as $29,500. Their average annual salary is $52,300.

While in the United Kingdom, the average salary of a GIS technician is £27,500.

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