Cartographers and photogrammetrists essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $60,110
- 2011, number of jobs: 11,240
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 22 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Cartographers and photogrammetrists; what they do:
Simply put, cartographers and photogrammetrists make maps. Their specialized skills are far from simple. Cartographers and photogrammetrists’ work affects the way we travel, how communities are mapped out and the government’s ability to plan for national security.
Both a cartographer career and a photogrammetrist career involve measuring, analyzing and interpreting information. The maps they create serve political, cultural, environmental and educational purposes.
A cartographer career includes compiling data from various sources, such as surveys, and using web-based technology to makes maps. A photogrammetrist career includes using satellite images, light-imaging detection and ranging technology, and photos — especially aerial photos — to make surveys and maps.
Some cartographers and photogrammetrists also use geographic information system technology to create maps important to industries and governments that make decisions involving environmental studies, engineering, land use and marketing.
Specializations include geographical information systems, land surveying, photo inspection, surveying technology, and photogrammetry.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists job duties:
- Managing map content, production and design, including scale, size projection and colors.
- Correcting and adjusting existing maps during revision process.
- Ensuring maps’ completeness and accuracy.
- Building and maintaining digital databases.
- Compiling data, including aerial photos, survey results and original maps.
- Preparing and managing changes to trace maps, charts, tables, drawings and optical models of terrain, using stereoscopic plotting and computer graphics software.
- Creating specifications for acceptable source material.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists job titles:
- Photogrammetric technician
- GIS analyst
- Land Surveyor
- GIS Technician
- Production manager
- Digital cartographer
- GIS specialist
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Education, Certification and License Requirements
A cartographer or photogrammetrist usually has a bachelor’s degree in cartography, geography, geomatics, surveying, forestry, physical science or engineering.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists’ need for education and computer skills has grown with the development of geographic information system technology.
Some schools offer an Associate’s degree in Geographic Information Systems or a Master of Geographic Information Systems degree.
Some states require licensing for cartographers and photogrammetrists, who may also earn certification from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Both licensing and certification of cartographers and photogrammetrists generally require formal education and passing scores on an industry test. Some states require a photogrammetrist to have a surveyor’s license.
The field of cartography includes apprenticeships as a cartographic drafter or geospatial specialist.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists programs cover subjects such as:
- Remote sensing technology
- GIS mapmaking technology
- Image processing
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Job Outlook
Forecast: 22 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for cartographers and photogrammetrists. Most of the growth in jobs for a cartographer and photogrammetrist will result from increased use of maps for national security and by local government planners. Cartographers and photogrammetrists increasingly incorporate social media data into maps. The need for professionals in cartography will increase because of retirements within the industry.
Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $60,110
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $73,180
- 2011, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $43,560
- Architectural, engineering and related services firms
- Local government
- Management, scientific and technical consulting services firms
- Federal government