daily life of a Geographic Information Systems Technician
are Geographic Information Systems Technicians happy with their job

Geographic Information Systems Technicians

Other names for this job might include Business Analyst, Cartographer, Cartographic Technician, Geographic Information Systems Analyst (GIS Analyst), Geographic Information Systems Coordinator (GIS Coordinator), Geographic Information Systems Mapping Technician (GIS Mapping Technician), Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist), Geographic Information Systems Technician (GIS Technician), Geographical Information System Specialist (GIS Specialist), Geographical Information System Technician (GIS Technician)

  • $87310
  • 70%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A GIS Technician: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Geographic Information Systems Technicians do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Geographic Information Systems Technician or not.

Job summary

GIS Technicians assist scientists, technologists, or related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying, or using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development or provide user support.

We asked GIS Technicians how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 46% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, GIS Technicians Select cartographic elements needed for effective presentation of information. They Transfer or rescale information from original photographs onto maps or other photographs.

1 of the main responsibilities as A GIS Technician is to Analyze Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to identify spatial relationships or display results of analyses, using maps, graphs, or tabular data.

Some may also Design or prepare graphic representations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, using GIS hardware or software applications.

A typical day for A GIS Technician look like this:

Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.

We asked some GIS Technicians a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?70% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?100% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?57% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?49% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?8% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?39% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?2% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?9% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that GIS Technicians do, they Provide technical support to users or clients regarding the maintenance, development, or operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, equipment, or applications. They might also Review existing or incoming data for currency, accuracy, usefulness, quality, or completeness of documentation.

On a weekly to monthly basis, GIS Technicians Interpret aerial or ortho photographs. and Perform geospatial data building, modeling, or analysis, using advanced spatial analysis, data manipulation, or cartography software.

In addition, they Maintain or modify existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Enter data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, using techniques such as coordinate geometry, keyboard entry of tabular data, manual digitizing of maps, scanning or automatic conversion to vectors, or conversion of other sources of digital data.

To some GIS Technicians, it is also their responsibility to Design or coordinate the development of integrated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial or non-spatial databases.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Provide technical support for software maintenance or use.
Evaluate data quality.
Analyze data to identify trends or relationships among variables.
Develop scientific or mathematical models.
Create databases to store electronic data.
Update computer database information.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A GIS Technician, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do GIS Technicians work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do GIS Technicians work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do GIS Technicians work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here. You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. You also 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. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Rank: B+
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They calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

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Geographic Information Systems Technicians job description, what do Geographic Information Systems Technicians do, typical day for Geographic Information Systems Technicians, what is it like to work as a Geographic Information Systems Technician, how many hours do Geographic Information Systems Technicians work, day to day work of a Geographic Information Systems Technician

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geographers.htm http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/surveying-and-mapping-technicians.htm http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/cartographers-and-photogrammetrists.htm [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Geographic Information Systems Technicians” rev_body=”GIS Technicians assist scientists, technologists, or related professionals in building, maintaining, modifying, or using geographic information systems (GIS) databases. May also perform some custom application development or provide user support.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]