Cartographers and Photogrammetrists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.

  • Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
  • Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
  • Prepare and alter trace maps, charts, tables, detailed drawings, and three-dimensional optical models of terrain using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics equipment.
  • Study legal records to establish boundaries of local, national, and international properties.
Read more about what does a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$68340 per year

Average hourly wage
$33 per hour

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists with little to no experience tend to make between $40960 and $51180 while the more experienced ones can earn over $82810 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $41 $84,540
NJ $40 $84,120
VA $39 $81,750
WA $39 $81,620
MD $38 $79,440

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Cartographers and Photogrammetrists are CA, NJ, VA, WA and MD.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Post-secondary certificate

We asked other Cartographers and Photogrammetrists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Secondary Certificate followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Surveying Technology/Surveying
Geographic Information Science and Cartography
Read more about how to become a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist.

Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very good salary
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

97% of Cartographers and Photogrammetrists said they were satisfied with their job and 80% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

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Cartographers and Photogrammetrists job description, Cartographers and Photogrammetrists salary, Cartographers and Photogrammetrists information, what is the job of a Cartographer and Photogrammetrist like, pros and cons about Cartographers and Photogrammetrists, colleges and universities for Cartographers and Photogrammetrists, is Cartographers and Photogrammetrists the right career for me, careers in Architecture and Engineering

Similar careers

Aerial Photogrammetrist, CAD Draftsman (Computer-Aided Design Draftsman), CAD Technician (Computer-Aided Design Technician), Cadastral Mapper, Cartographer, Cartographic Designer, Cartographic Drafter, Cartographic Editor, Cartographic Technician, Cartography Supervisor

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