What Do GIS Professionals Make: GIS Salary Surveys

Caitlin Dempsey


What are the average salaries for a GIS Analyst, GIS technician, or GIS manager?  Use GIS salary surveys to find that answer which depends on a variety of factors from the industry the job is located in, years of experience, and education level of the GIS employee.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists who have a bachelor’s degree and strong technical skills should have favorable job prospects.”  The agency’s 2010-2011 edition of its Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that the median annual income for cartographers was $51,180 with the majority earning between $39,510 and $69,220.  The lowest 10 percent of earners made $31,440 or less and the highest ten percent of earners made $87,620 or higher.

More detailed statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the different career listings relating to GIS are accessible below:

GIS Salary Surveys

GIS salaries vary greatly by region and by industry.  The best way to get an estimate as to your earning power based on your location, experience, and field of interest is through salary surverys.  Salary surveys are a starting point for helping you find the right GIS job at the right compensation level and help to you find out how to gauge what the market value of your skill level is.  There are a few GIS specific sites that collect and publish salary survey information which are listed below.

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PayScale GIS Salary Survey
Enter in the job title, location and years of salary to see comparative information about GIS related salaries.

URISA 2006-2007 Survey
Released April 2007, URISA’s survey for the IT and GIS professions looked at over 2,400 respondents. This comprehensive survey looks at job descriptions and salaries as wells the common programming languages and software packages used among GIS professionals.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information from this agency of type of work, working conditions, earnings, job outlook and training on GIS related jobs.

COLA Calculator
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) calculator allows you to compare how far your pay will go between states.

Related GIS Career Resources

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.