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Geographical Information System (GIS) Technical Specialist Jobs

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The job of a GIS (Geographical Information System) Technical Specialist, as its name suggests, is in the field of geographical technology. This job consists of generating detailed maps, charts and graphs. Most of the GIS Specialist jobs are offered by government agencies and GIS Utility firms. Some GIS Specialists work as professional consultants and help private firms as well as public bodies to select the best hardware and software for the geographical information they seek. It is quite common for GIS Technical Specialists to work on maps and find and present information in order to secure environmental sanction and approval for various power projects like transmission lines and gas pipelines. GIS Specialists generally work for 40 hours a week.

The GIS technical specialist's job focuses on specific types of mapping like marine and aeronautical mapping, topographic mapping, archaeological mapping, statistical mapping, or mapping for environmental planning using a specific type of mapping technology like Global Positioning System (GPS) or remote sensing technology.

There are various sub-divisions of the job of a Geographical Information System (GIS) technical specialist and a GIS specialist has lots of responsibilities and duties. Some of these are listed below:

  • Compiling geographic records from an array of sources including satellite imagery, aerial photographs, existing maps and field observation databases
  • Designing, maintaining and updating the records of censuses, geographical statistics and geographical information
  • Communicating with clients regularly to identify their data needs and preparing the requisite outputs
  • Developing GIS software based on software packages
  • Managing the progress and application of new GIS software packages
  • Suggesting ideas to the local governments about the geographical changes in the location and making them aware of future scopes and possible endeavors
The minimum educational qualification required for a GIS technical specialist's job is a post graduate or a bachelor's degree in the field of geography, engineering, geographical information systems, environmental studies or computer science. Some of the related academic subjects include cartography, mathematics, software engineering, surveying and town planning. Candidates having exposure with ArcGIS 9.x and other graphics software & software languages have added advantage. GIS in combination with political science, business, sociology, or economics that emphasize analyzing data is highly preferable.

A minimum of 4 to 8 years of experience in the field of GIS lends a candidate the potential to successfully land a senior GIS technical specialist's job with a reputable organization.

Some skills that are helpful to have are:
  • Excellent research skill in the field of GIS
  • Effective problem solving skills with the possession of sound theoretical knowledge to be applied on the current issues
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work in different fields
  • Capability of programming with innovative ideas and in small time-frames
The average annual income of a GIS Technical Specialist is in the range of $60,000 to $70,000. There is no special training for the GIS Technical Specialists, since the knowledge can be obtained only through practical experience.

In the current scenario with an ever-growing population, the local governments are facing some of the greatest challenges in providing transportation networks, infrastructure management, medical aid, sewer lines, etc. to the populace. The GIS technical specialists play a vital role in providing suitable suggestions regarding the above-mentioned areas, since they are directly related to the geographical locations. GIS specialists help in planning, urban renewal, economic development issues and public safety. GIS technical specialists can also find good employment options with business firms since GIS an essential tool for marketing, identifying new locations and taking distribution decisions.
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Popular tags:

 topographical maps  programmers  communication  GIS  local governments  environmental studies  problem solving  maps  resumes  degrees

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