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How to Become a Geomatics CAD Specialist

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Geomatics is a science/technology that involves gathering, analysis, interpretation, distribution, and usage of geographic data. It covers a wide variety of disciplines which can be connected together to create a detailed and comprehensible outlook of the physical world. The disciplines that are part of geomatics include mapping, surveying, remote sensing, global positioning system (GPS), geodesy, positioning, navigation, geographical information system (GIS), hydrography, geomatics engineering, cartography, and photogrammetry. Read on to find out more about how to become a geomatics CAD specialist.

Geomatics knowledge is usually applied in land management and reforms, infrastructure management, coastal zone mapping and management, subdivision mapping, the environment, urban planning, natural resource monitoring and development, disaster informatics for reduction of disaster risk, and archeological survey and excavation for GIS applications.

Geomatics is a relatively new industry and includes the techniques and tools utilized in remote sensing; land surveying, geographical information systems (GIS), global navigation satellite systems (GLONASS, GPS, COMPASS, GALILEO) and other related earth mapping methods.

GIS jobs require a geomatics CAD specialist to deal with conversion of digital files and handling of images. The specialist is involved in handling, manipulations, execution of GIS data, assessment and processing of raw GPS data, flight planning, planning GPS sessions, pre-marking, air borne GPS, and stereoscopic image reading. Other duties may involve modeling of terrains and generation of contours using DEM or TIN methods, using office computer applications software like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and others, Leveling of lines and GPS data, 3D mapping and feature coding, coordination of systems transformations, plot generation, database structure and utilization, and adjustment of traverses by using least squares methods.

GIS jobs usually provide for working in teams with surveyors, engineers and other technical team members. The work entails working indoors using computers in compiling and analyzing data, and also engaging in outdoors work during carrying out of surveys and supervising of technicians.

It is not easy to be self employed, and most GIS jobs specialists are compensated workers employed in private corporations or government firms. GIS jobs provide good compensations to qualified workers in the industry. The remuneration packages usually vary depending on the field of specialty in the GIS jobs. However, individuals who are experienced usually receive higher packages than newly hired GIS specialists.

For non-graduates, the typical compensation lies in the range of $20,000 to $24,000 while graduate students may begin earning at $25,000 to $31,000 per year. Typical salary ranges for certified GIS specialists range from $53,000 to $61,000 per annum. Average earnings for GIS technologist workers stand at $53,000 while averages for GIS technicians are at $57,000 per annum. The senior level management average compensation ranges from $67,000 to $110,000 per year. Since GIS jobs usually involve working away from home, GIS specialists usually receive traveling and overseas allowances. The working time is not fixed as it depends on the field where one is specialized in and the policy of the firm that has employed him.

GIS jobs require applicants who have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, geomatics, survey engineering, or other equivalent degrees. Some of the preferred degrees include surveying and mapping science, geographic information science, land/estate surveying, geology, earth science, physics, mathematics, environmental science, and geography/physical geography.

School and college leavers can also enter GIS jobs through training which is accessed through a modern system of apprenticeship. Such GIS specialists may start as assistants in different GIS jobs before they make their way up through accreditations got by studying and working.

Although a master's degree in surveying can be advantageous, it is not a requirement in GIS careers. There are other postgraduate courses that can be pursued for those who aim to specialize in a particular field in GIS jobs. These subjects include geodetic surveying, hydroinformatics, environmental management, earth observation and geographic information science. Different institutions provide details on the eligibility of pursuing the courses in their departments. However, for one to take these courses, a first degree in subjects like mathematics, geomatics, geography, engineering, or physics is usually a prerequisite.

Candidates who wish to pursue the advanced courses should have high numeracy levels, good oral and written communication skills, ability to conceptualize information presented in 2D and 3D, map work skills, decision making skills, and ability to work independently. They should be comfortable with traveling since GIS jobs require movement in different regions and should be comfortable in hiking in all weather conditions.

Professional training for most GIS jobs is usually undertaken in-house and on site. Firms may provide specific training on using specialist equipment but some prior knowledge of geomatics equipment is usually required. Many geomatic specialists will get general training in varied areas in their fields, but after some years of experience some geomatics professionals may specialize in different areas. Some of the options that they may choose include constructions, cartography, offshore engineering and exploration and property.

Career advancement usually depends on the industry that one is in. In the common sectors like engineering, construction and surveying, it is usual for graduates to be employed as junior employees before advancing. In other companies, some additional responsibilities, for example CAD technician may be accorded to newly hired graduates.

GIS jobs are expected to rise with the rapid technological changes. Individuals qualified in geomatics have a wide range of opportunities to work in. They may be employed in government agencies or private corporations, the oil and gas industry, offshore surveying, or in other engineering and surveying firms. Some of the occupations related to geomatics include mining technologist, city planners, civil technologist, forest resource technologist, draftsperson, instrument technician, and computer programmer/operator.

Although geomatics is a relatively new industry, it is fast becoming one of the most advanced since it changes with advancement in technology. Geomatics covers a wide range of subjects including land mapping, surveying, GIS, GPS, the environment, and other related subjects. Geomatic professionals can work in a wide range of industries including mining, mapping companies, construction companies, engineering consultants and constructors, local authorities and central government, geophysics consulting companies, utilities companies, oil companies, private firms, surveying companies, archeological firms, astronomical companies and others. Related occupations in the geomatics industry include quantity surveyor, geoscientist, geological mapper, building surveyor, cartographer, engineering geologist and hydrographic surveyor.
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