How Much Do GIS Jobs Pay?

Caitlin Dempsey


Your potential salary as a GIS professional is going to vary depending on several factors such as the location of the job, the title, and your related experience.  GIS jobs can pay a wide range from working for $11/hour as a GIS Intern or GIS Technician to making over $100,000 as a GIS Developer.

Explore GIS Salaries

In addition to being an aggregate site for job listings, Indeed offers a tool that lets users explore salary information for a range of job titles and companies.  The last time GIS Lounge took a look at salary data from Indeed was back in March of 2016 and the options have changed.  

The salary data is still restricted just to U.S. based jobs.  To access, visit the Salary Search page and enter either a job title or company.  If you type in “GIS”, a drop down will show you all available job titles.  Select a title and a summary page of salary information averaged across the United States is shown.  The salary data is compiled from two sources.  The first is scraped from past and present job advertisements from the past 24 months.  The second source is from reported salaries from employers and employees to Indeed.

Keep in mind, when exploring this tool, that salary accuracy varies greatly, especially for job titles or companies with a low amount of data input.  That said, there is a great variability in GIS salaries across industries and geographies.  So, any tools you can use to help you understand the economic landscape as you search for positions are useful (another tool is using the recently released executive summary for the 2017 URISA GIS Salary Survey.)

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GIS Salaries by Job Title

When you access the search results for a position title, the average salary and a histogram are shown.  At the top, a basic statistic is shown, indicating the number of reported salaries.  Listed below the histogram, are clickable links to change the average salary to a per hour, day, or month figure. A list of salaries by company job title are then listed.  It isn’t clear what the parameters are for the rankings of companies.

From the location drop down, you can filter the results to a specific state or city.  The list of cities is a bit spotty.  For example. California lists only six cities and doesn’t include large cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, or San Franciso.  The ability to compare salaries across geographies no longer exists.

Salary Information for GIS Companies

You can also see salary information for specific companies.  Typing in a company name leads you to a page with salary statistics, reviews from past and current employees, and a Q&A section.  Exploring the listed salaries and reviews can be a  useful tool for understanding earning potential and fit with a company.

Finding Out How Much GIS Jobs Pay

There are several other sites you can visit to get a sense of how much a GIS job will pay, depending on the title.  GIS Lounge has several articles about how to learn about what different GIS jobs pay:

In addition, Todd Barr discusses what factors affect your GIS salary potential: GIS Analyst Salary Breakdown. Be sure to read his perspective about how the term GIS can depress salaries: Money Verse [sic] Maps

See Also

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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.