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Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist

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Life As a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist

Career Description Apply remote sensing principles and methods to analyze data and solve problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning, or homeland security. May develop new sensor systems, analytical techniques, or new applications for existing systems.

Life As a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist: What Do They Do?

  • Process aerial or satellite imagery to create products such as land cover maps.
  • Develop or build databases for remote sensing or related geospatial project information.
  • Analyze data acquired from aircraft, satellites, or ground-based platforms, using statistical analysis software, image analysis software, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Compile and format image data to increase its usefulness.
  • Use remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities to assess the impact of environmental change.
  • Participate in fieldwork.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist?

These are the skills Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Professor
  • LIDAR Scientist (Light Detection and Ranging Scientist)
  • Weather Algorithm Scientist
  • Signal Intelligence Analyst
  • Scientist

Job Demand for Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 23,500 jobs in the United States for Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,000 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist are Nevada, Nebraska, and New Mexico. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, West Virginia, or Tennessee. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist

The salary for Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists ranges between about $51,730 and $164,210 a year.

Salary Ranges for Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists

Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $122,420
Alaska $95,380
Arizona $87,870
California $117,830
Colorado $116,530
Connecticut $108,770
District of Columbia $134,100
Florida $88,270
Georgia $106,560
Hawaii $97,080
Idaho $64,900
Illinois $97,720
Indiana $81,740
Kansas $97,300
Kentucky $94,700
Louisiana $99,540
Maryland $130,450
Massachusetts $111,910
Michigan $94,810
Mississippi $87,010
Missouri $92,960
Montana $64,320
New Hampshire $89,600
New Jersey $96,850
New Mexico $127,210
New York $103,970
North Carolina $96,450
North Dakota $47,990
Ohio $102,370
Oklahoma $83,960
Oregon $82,560
Pennsylvania $115,050
Rhode Island $108,290
South Carolina $116,000
Tennessee $90,800
Texas $101,320
Virginia $121,850
Washington $108,430
West Virginia $103,810
Wisconsin $78,180

What Tools & Technology do Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • UNIX
  • C
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Interface definition language IDL
  • Image processing software
  • C++
  • RSI ENVI

Becoming a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist

What education or degrees do I need to become a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist?

Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist?

Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist Work Experience

Where do Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists Work?

Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Remote Sensing Scientist or Technologist may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: Agsftw via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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