What Does it Take to Be a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist?
Position Description Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, political, educational, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
Life As a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist
- Revise existing maps and charts, making all necessary corrections and adjustments.
- Build and update digital databases.
- Delineate aerial photographic detail, such as control points, hydrography, topography, and cultural features, using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments.
- Compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs, survey notes, records, reports, and original maps.
- Examine and analyze data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images to prepare topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts.
- Identify, scale, and orient geodetic points, elevations, and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.
Skills Needed to be a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Types of Cartographer or Photogrammetrist Jobs
- Orthophotography Technician
- Map Editor
- Aerial Photogrammetrist
- Data Mapper
Are There Job Opportunities for Cartographers and Photogrammetrists?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 12,600 jobs in the United States for Cartographer or Photogrammetrist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,400 new jobs for Cartographer or Photogrammetrist by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Cartographer or Photogrammetrist are Colorado, Oregon, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist
The average yearly salary of a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist ranges between $40,960 and $101,400.
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists who work in New Jersey, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Cartographers and Photogrammetrists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools & Technology do Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Cartographers and Photogrammetrists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Microsoft Windows
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Structured query language SQL
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
- Extensible markup language XML
How do I Become a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist?
Individuals working as a Cartographer or Photogrammetrist have obtained the following education levels:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Cartographers and Photogrammetrists employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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