How Much Do GIS Analysts Make? Explore the Latest Salary Trends and Job Outlook

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts play a crucial role in data work. These specialists collect, analyze, and interpret spatial data to create maps, conduct research, and provide valuable insights. As the demand for GIS professionals continues to grow, it’s essential to understand the latest salary trends and job outlook for various positions within the GIS field. 

In addition, to understand the importance of such a specialist in your company, you need to clearly understand what he does. For example, GIS analysts are responsible for managing and analyzing geospatial data, creating maps. They also provide insights to support decision-making processes. GIS technicians assist in collecting and organizing spatial data, updating databases, and producing maps. GIS developers focus on designing and implementing GIS applications, software, and tools. Each GIS specialist plays an important role in collecting, processing and working with data.

Latest Salary Trends for GIS Analysts

The average salary GIS analyst trends vary based on experience levels, location, industry, and other factors. Let’s delve into the latest trends for GIS specialist salary.

  • Junior GIS analyst salary typically has limited professional experience but possess foundational knowledge and skills in GIS technology and spatial analysis. The GIS professional salary for entry-level usually ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 per year. 
  • Average GIS Analyst Salary depends on experience, education level, and job responsibilities. On average, GIS analysts earn between $50,000 and $80,000 per year. 
  • Experienced GIS analysts with several years of industry experience and specialized skills often have higher salaries. These professionals may have advanced knowledge in spatial modeling, programming, and data visualization. The Senior GIS analyst salary range typically extends beyond $80,000 per year. Some professionals earn upwards of $100,000 per year, especially in senior or leadership roles.

Let’s explore the average yearly GIS salary in the US in different directions.

GIS technician salary $58,307
GIS developer salary $100,464
GIS manager salary $130,811
Geographic information systems analyst salary$73,561 
GIS engineer salary$78,022
GIS consultant salary$72,812
GIS coordinator salary $71,216
GIS mapping salary $81,025 
GIS administrator salary $70,548
GIS data analyst salary $71,396
GIS tech salary $57,318

The table shows the average salary of a geographic information system salary specialist. At the same time, it all depends on a number of factors and the amount can be much more or less. For example, the GIS coordinator salary ranges between $63,906 and $80,006. This is a GIS major salary without various bonuses often provided by companies. 

Here some factors that can influence the salaries of GIS analysts:

  • The geographic location has a significant impact on the salary. Geographic information system specialist salary levels can change significantly among regions, cities, and even rural areas. Because of the heightened competition for talent and greater costs of living, metropolitan cities or regions with significant demand for GIS specialists may offer higher compensation. On the other side, regions with lower living expenses or a smaller demand for GIS analysts may have pay ranges that are comparably lower.
  • The industry in which a GIS analyst works can influence their salary. Government, consulting, environmental management, urban planning, engineering, and technology are just a few of the industries that employ GIS analysts. The industry budget, the requirement for GIS knowledge, and the organization’s value of geospatial data analysis can all have an impact on salary ranges.
  • Education level and qualifications can also influence a GIS analyst’s salary. A bachelor’s degree in GIS, geography, geomatics, or a closely related discipline is typically necessary for entry-level employment. However, experts with advanced degrees in the field, such as a master’s or Ph.D. in GIS or a specialized field within the discipline, may benefit in terms of remuneration and gaining better jobs. Additionally, getting industry-recognized credentials can boost professional reputation and possibly increase earning potential. One such qualification is the GIS Professional qualification (GISP).
  • Experience plays a crucial role in determining the salary of a GIS analyst. Professionals become more desirable to companies as they accumulate years of experience in their industry and develop specific skills and expertise. GIS analysts that have a history of successful projects, leadership qualities, and specialization in particular fields frequently earn higher salaries. Employers appreciate the importance of experience and competence, which can result in higher pay.
  • The scope of job responsibilities can impact salary ranges for GIS analysts. Project management, team coordination, or technical leadership often come with higher salaries. Additionally, positions that require advanced skills in data analysis, programming, or software development may command higher compensation due to the specialized nature of the work.
  • Economic conditions and market demand for GIS professionals can influence salary ranges. In regions or industries where there is a shortage of qualified GIS analysts, employers may offer higher salaries to attract and retain top talent. Conversely, during economic downturns or in areas with a surplus of GIS professionals, salary growth may be more constrained.

Job Outlook for GIS Analysts

GIS specialists have excellent prospects, at the moment the demand for their services is growing. In addition, do not forget that geographic information systems salaries are at a fairly high level. When considering career prospects, it’s important to explore the average GIS majors salary and the potential for growth in the industry. Job opportunities and career opportunities for GIS professionals are plentiful. Especially when you consider some of the factors that affect job prospects. 

Employment Opportunities

GIS analysts can find employment in a wide range of industries: government agencies, environmental management, urban planning, transportation, engineering, natural resources, telecommunications, and technology. As organizations increasingly recognize the value of geospatial data analysis and its applications, the demand for GIS analysts continues to grow.

Industry Trends

Several industry trends contribute to the positive job outlook for GIS analysts. These include the increasing adoption of location-based technologies, the need for spatial analysis in urban planning and infrastructure development. In addition, we should not forget about the need for environmental monitoring and natural resource management. Moreover, the integration of GIS with new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT) plays an important role.

Emerging Technologies

The emergence of new technologies is reshaping the GIS field and creating additional employment opportunities for GIS analysts. Advancements in remote sensing, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), drones, and mobile GIS applications have expanded the capabilities and potential applications of GIS. GIS analysts who stay updated with these technologies and acquire the necessary skills will be well-positioned for future job prospects.

Economic Conditions

Economic conditions, both globally and regionally, can influence the job outlook for GIS analysts. Economic growth and investment in urban development, and natural resource management tend to create more employment opportunities for GIS professionals. Conversely, during economic downturns or budget constraints, the job market may be more competitive. As a result, organizations may reduce hiring or limit expansion of GIS teams.

Professional Development and Education

Continuing education, professional development, and acquiring specialized skills can enhance the job outlook and career advancement prospects for GIS analysts. Pursuing advanced degrees, attending industry conferences, participating in training programs, and obtaining certifications can improve marketability. Moreover it can open doors to higher-level positions and make a geographic information systems specialist salary higher. 

Career Advancement Prospects

GIS analysts can advance their careers in several ways. They can take on more complex projects, lead teams, or specialize in a particular domain such as environmental analysis for example. With experience and additional qualifications, GIS analysts can progress to roles such as GIS managers, coordinators, or consultants. These GIS specialists oversee GIS operations, implement strategic initiatives, or provide specialized expertise to clients or organizations.Geographic information systems salary obviously depends on the specialist’s role as well.

Professional Networking

Building a strong professional network within the GIS community can significantly impact career advancement and job opportunities. Attending industry events, joining GIS associations, participating in online forums, and collaborating with peers can help GIS analysts stay connected, gain insights into emerging trends. As a result specialists can discover potential employment prospects.

Qualifications and Skills for GIS Analysts

GIS analysts require a combination of qualifications and skills to excel in their roles. Here are some essential qualifications and skills commonly sought after in GIS analysts:

  • Educational Background: For entry-level GIS analyst work, a bachelor’s degree in geography, geomatics, environmental science, or a related discipline is often necessary. However, if a candidate has relevant GIS coursework or expertise, some employers may take their degree in a different field into account. Getting an advanced degree, such as a master’s or Ph.D., can provide you an advantage when applying for senior-level or specialized work.
  • GIS Software Expertise: A basic prerequisite for GIS analysts is software proficiency. Depending on the requirements of the firm, they should be highly proficient in industry-standard GIS software such as ArcGIS by Esri, QGIS, or other specialist tools. GIS analysts should be capable of using GIS software to carry out duties like data management, geographic analysis, map generation, and visualization.
  • Spatial Analysis: For GIS analysts, spatial analysis is a crucial ability. They ought to be well-versed in the ideas of spatial data, coordinate systems, projections, and geoprocessing methods. GIS analysts can gain valuable insights from geographic data by becoming proficient in spatial analysis tools like overlay analysis, proximity analysis, spatial statistics, and network analysis.
  • Data Management: To organize, clean, integrate, and alter geospatial datasets, GIS analysts need good data management skills. They ought to be knowledgeable about database management systems (DBMS) and familiar with standard GIS data formats like shapefiles, geodatabases, and raster datasets. Effective data management also requires expertise in data modeling, data conversion, and data quality assessment.
  • Programming and Scripting: Programming and scripting skills can considerably improve a GIS analyst’s capacity. Python is frequently used in the GIS industry for workflow automation, data processing, and customization. GIS analysts that are proficient in Python and other scripting languages, like R or SQL, may conduct geoprocessing jobs, streamline processes, and create unique tools and scripts.
  • GIS visualization: GIS analysts should possess cartographic skills to effectively communicate geospatial information through maps and visualizations. They should have an eye for design, understanding concepts such as color theory, symbolization, typography, and map layout. Proficiency in cartographic software and an understanding of visual communication principles are essential for creating visually appealing and informative maps.
  • Project Management: GIS analysts often work on projects that involve data collection, analysis, and deliverable creation. Strong project management skills, including the ability to define project scope, set timelines, manage resources, and communicate effectively, are important for successful project execution. Project management methodologies such as Agile or Scrum can be beneficial in managing GIS projects.

Certifications to Enhance Credentials:

Certifications can add value to a GIS analyst’s credentials and demonstrate their expertise in specific areas. Some notable certifications in the GIS field include:

  • GIS Professional Certification (GISP): Validates proficiency in geospatial technologies, ethics, and professional practices.
  • Esri Technical Certification: Demonstrates expertise in using Esri’s ArcGIS software suite for various roles, such as Desktop, Developer, and Enterprise.
  • Remote Sensing and Image Analysis Certifications: Validates skills in analyzing and interpreting remote sensing data, offered by organizations like ASPRS.
  • Programming and Data Analytics Certifications: Certifications in Python, R, and SQL showcase proficiency in programming languages for GIS analysis and data management.
  • UAV and Drone Mapping Certifications: Validates the ability to operate drones legally and safely for GIS applications, such as the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate.
  • Specialized Certifications: Includes geospatial intelligence, lidar and point cloud processing, and cartography GIS, tailored to specific domains within GIS.

GIS analysts are in demand and hold a crucial position in today’s job market. Their skills and knowledge in geospatial data analysis make them valuable assets to organizations across industries. As technology and data-driven decision-making continue to advance, the role of GIS analysts will remain essential in leveraging the power of spatial information for informed decision-making, sustainable development, and improved resource management.

If you’re looking to hire a GIS analyst or need assistance with your geospatial projects contact Mobilunity today and discover how our team can help you to hire an employee of your dream.