GIS Salary Expectations: Climb the GIS Career Ladder

GIS Salary Pyramid

GIS salary and pay scale expectations

What is the typical GIS salary? What are the highest-paying GIS jobs? How much money can you make in GIS?

GIS is a diverse field. It’s diverse in pay scale too with the average GIS salary ranging from $40,000 to over $100,000+.

This is why we’ve outlined GIS salary ranges in a pyramid infographic.

Let’s get started.

Low-end GIS salary careers (40,000$-60,000$)

Topographic Agency

The field of geomatics brings a range of career options. At the lower end of the pay scale, technicians and draftsmen typically earn the least.

These positions are tasked with grunt work and the focus is to learn GIS. For example, they often involve basic roles in databases, analysis, and mapping. Editing data and writing metadata also play big roles in these types of careers.

But don’t let the pay scale fool you though. GIS technicians, draftsmen, and analysts do all the heavy lifting for project workloads. Without them, there wouldn’t be a solid foundation for data.

  • Cartographic Technician ($42,000)
  • Survey CAD Technician ($44,000)
  • CAD Drafter ($45,000)
  • GIS Technician ($48,000)
  • Land Survey Technician ($53,000)

Mid-range GIS salary careers (60,000$-80,000$)

GIS Analyst

As we move higher in the salary range, we see more specialized skilled professions. For example, remote sensing and LiDAR analysts are in the mid-range pay scale range.

GIS administrators have managerial roles for large enterprise databases. Not only do they design spatial database infrastructure. But they are responsible for backup and recovery too.

Finally, we start to see senior positions such as geodesists and engineering roles. These positions need years of experience and often extra certification.

  • Geographer ($61,000)
  • GIS Specialist ($64,000)
  • GIS Analyst ($65,000)
  • Senior CAD Technician ($70,000)
  • LiDAR Analyst ($71,000)
  • Cartographer ($75,000)
  • Senior CAD Engineer ($75,000)
  • Senior GIS Analyst ($76,000)

High-end GIS salary careers (>80,000$)

GIS manager

Senior GIS positions are on the top of the salary list. For example, GIS project managers plan, execute and close projects. Education and experience are why these positions dominate the top of the GIS pay scale.

Senior geomatics software engineers need the right education to design, develop, and maintain software. This GIS career requires the right skill set to write code and GIS programming. Finally, GIS developers are also in the high-end GIS salary careers.

  • Remote Sensing Analyst ($83,000)
  • GEOINT Analyst ($83,000)
  • GIS Developer ($85,000)
  • GIS Administrator ($96,000)
  • Geodetic Engineer ($98,000)
  • GIS Software Engineer ($99,000)
  • Senior Geomatics Software Engineer ($103,000)
  • GIS Project Manager ($105,000)

A bridge into data science

If you’re looking to bridge your GIS skillset into the emerging field of data science, it has some major advantages for job outlook and salaries.

For example, data science has seen +650% job growth since 2012 (source: LinkedIn). Additionally, the average annual average salary has hit $120,931 for jobs with the title of “data scientist” (source: Glassdoor)

Here are some of the top certification programs available for data scientists below:

Additionally, the future outlook for data scientists is estimated to grow by 11.5 million new jobs related to data science by 2026 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Do you want to pursue a GIS career?

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in GIS, it can be very fulfilling. For example, it’s a high-tech job that’s changing every moment.

In this GIS salary guide, we give the market rate for a variety of geomatics positions. But if you just want to get your foot in the door, we have a couple of ways that can help.

Did we miss any GIS careers? Please let us know in the comments.


Salary Information (2022, February 11). Retrieved from ZipRecruiter and Indeed.

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