GIS analysts work with the geographical information systems. Usually they work for a government agency directly and are thus state or federal employees. Sometimes they work for a GIS office in a commercial setting and government agencies and corporations hire them to analyze information that is available on the GIS. An IT certification is overall very helpful for GIS jobs but specialized GIS training is also essential. This field and the GIS are fairly new and the government has still people working on putting it all into the system. GIS analysts have to have great computer skills but also good organizational skills. An eye for detail is very essential. GIS analysts compare tables and statistics and evaluate situations.
To become a GIS analyst it is important to learn geographical terms that describe locations and characteristics. Cartographic, oral, and written communication skills must be outstanding. After all they must be able to explain GIS information to technical people who do not know anything about GIS. GIS analysts need to be good problem solvers with the use of GIS tools. In other words their analytical skills have to be excellent. They have to be strong in mathematics too. They have to be proficient in using computer programs to gather and order information. A degree in computer science is extremely helpful when applying for a GIS job. While a Bachelor of Science degree is extremely helpful it is worth to mention that several schools in most states offer certificate programs in GIS. It is also possible to take online classes in GIS. Depending on the kind of GIS job you are looking for an additional degree can be extremely helpful. Those degrees that will bring you a long way are a degree in business, economics, and sociology.
Most GIS jobs are performed in nice cubicles and offices. Overall the equipment used is a regular computer and GIS software. If you are the type that is really looking for an outdoor job GIS is still an option for you. A lot of data has to be collected in the field and this is done by GIS professionals who prefer not to sit at a desk all day long.
Good GIS analysts earn twenty dollars an hour on average. It is expected however that these wages will go up because demand goes up and there are not enough GIS analysts to fill all positions as it is right now. It is also expected that more fields will start to use GIS software adapted to their specific needs. The growth of possibilities is unpredictable, but insiders say it will be enormous.