Occupation Outlook

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

These occupations should experience faster than average employment growth. Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists who have a bachelor’s degree and strong technical skills should have favorable job prospects.

Employment of surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying and mapping technicians is expected to grow 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Increasing demand for fast, accurate, and complete geographic information will be the main source of job growth.


U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

Geospatial Technology is included in the High Growth Job Training Initiative.


The Changing Geospatial Landscape: A Second Look

…the committee contributes its perceptions of incipient technologies that we expect will guide, define or determine the development of this industry in the near and medium term. Of even greater importance, the report highlights those aspects of innovation that bear directly on public policy and on individual privacy and security. The NGAC [National Geospatial Advisory Committee] has also prepared this report to help inform the development of the next iteration of the strategic plan for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the development of transition recommendations for the next Presidential administration.”


NSDI Strategic Plan v2

The geospatial technology and services industry is a growing and important factor in the United States and world economies, driving significant benefits and providing high-wage jobs. A 2012 study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimated that the U.S. geospatial industry generated approximately $73 billion in revenues in 2011 and comprises at least 500,000 high-wage jobs. In addition, BCG found that geospatial services deliver efficiency gains in the rest of the economy that are valued at many times the size of the sector itself—with geospatial services driving $1.6 trillion in revenue and $1.4 trillion in cost savings. These benefits, representing 15 to 20 times the size of the geospatial services sector itself, create an important competitive advantage for the U.S. economy.

The Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) recently reported that the geospatial information technology (IT) sector has recently been growing by 35% per year, with the commercial side growing at an incredible rate of 100% annually. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor recently identified the geospatial technology sector as one of the three technology areas that would create the greatest number of new jobs over the next decade.

Worldwide, a 2012 study by Oxera commissioned by Google estimated that the global geospatial services sector generates $150 to $270 billion annually. By comparison, this is greater than the $25 billion generated by the video games industry, roughly equivalent to the $140 billion in revenue from the global security services industry, and about one-third of the global airline industry’s annual revenues of $594 billion.


Geospatial Intelligence Careers:

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is the only organization dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and building a stronger community of interest across industry, academia, government, professional organizations and individual stakeholders.

more: (sponsored by Esri)

Information on GIS careers and future outlook


Salary Information

URISA 2011 Salary Survey

Impact of Certification for Geographic Information Systems Professionals

Geospatial Competency Model

The Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM) is depicted as a pyramid with nine tiers. This depiction illustrates how occupational and industry competencies build on a foundation of personal effectiveness, academic, and workplace competencies.


Classic Articles, Still Relevant Today

Nature Magazine, January 22, 2004, Mapping Opportunities: Careers and Recruitment article by Doug Richardson, Executive Director, Association of American Geographers. A classic article, still relevant today.

Science August 18, 2005, Careers in Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

Science Magazine, March 2013,

In the News

“The Growing Role and Value of Geospatial Technology and Information” Draft NSDI Strategic Plan v2

Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence” 2013

Grow or Die – 3 Key GIS Career Needs,” GoGeomatics Canada Magazine

Geospatial Career Panel 2012,” Hangouts with James Fee

GeoSearch Tracks U.S. Geospatial Employmentin Q3 2012

“stand and be counted” by David DiBiase on Prezi. Keynote presentation for Spatial Plexus 2012 conference, Atlanta, 5-22-12

“Strengthening the GIS Profession” by David DiBiase, ArcNews Summer 2012

Spatial Career Guide – Geographic Information Scientist,” Geographical Perspectives, April 10, 2012

Spatial Career Guide – Cartography and Visualization Specialist,” Geographical Perspectives, April 2, 2012

Spatial Career Guide – How to Become a Geospatial Analyst,” Geographical Perspectives, March 31, 2012

Spatial Career Guide – 5 Key Skills for Future GIS Software Developers,” Geographical Perspectives, March 29, 2012

The Top Five Skills Needed to Have a Successful GIS Career,” Directions Magazine, September 13, 2011

GIS Employment Outlook: Relatively Rosy for State and Local Government Professionals,” Directions Magazine, July 20, 2011

“GIS Analysts are in the Top 10 Low stress Jobs and Top 100 Best Jobs in America, according to Money Magazine and,” as seen at


“Developing the Geospatial Workforce”
“Choosing GIS as a Career”

“Geospatial Occupations Q&A – Part One”
October 20th 2010

“Geospatial Occupations Q&A – Part Two”
October 26th 2010