For some professionals, the idea of becoming a GIS technician can be incredibly enticing. It allows them to combine their love of technology with their strong spatial awareness, assisting in the preparation of makes, infrastructure designs, and much more.
Many people aren’t fully aware of what it takes to become a GIS technician, as well as what kind of duties they’ll take on once they enter the field. If you’re interested in launching a career as a GIS technician, here’s what you need to know about the role and how to get started.
GIS Technician Core Duties and Skills
While every position is, of course, unique, most GIS technician positions have certain things in common. Their core duties all revolve around the collection and organization of spatial data, ensuring that it’s accessible and usable for various projects or developments.
In many cases, much of the work is computer-based. GIS technicians make use of specialty software to complete many of their duties. A decent portion of the role involves the analysis of geographic data, as well as updating databases, digitizing maps, and reviewing records for accuracy.
Modeling is also a big part of the job. Using cartography software is similarly common, and some even design databases from the ground up.
At times, there may also be some fieldwork. This is more common when a GIS technician is assisting with construction projects. However, it isn’t always part of the role.
How to Become a GIS Technician
In most cases, launching a GIS technician career begins with education. You’ll typically need a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science, geography, or engineering.
Coursework in computer technology, cartography, and geography is important regardless of your major. It can also be beneficial to acquire some knowledge of environmental science, particularly if you want to focus on major infrastructure projects.
Mathematics, statistics, and similar classes can also be crucial. Since some of the analysis work can involve calculations, having a strong foundation is wise. Communication skills are also vital in this role, as well as attention to detail, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Familiarizing yourself with crucial software can make it easier to enter the field, as well. Systems like ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcMap, and Arc Info are common in the GIS career landscape, making them a reasonable place to begin. Learning AutoCAD, AutoDesk, and similar applications can be helpful, too.
Beyond that, you’ll want to get some relevant experience. Focus on entry-level GIS-oriented opportunities to get the ball rolling. Make sure to include internships and contract positions when you first begin, as those can be excellent ways to build up your skills and reputation, making it easier to land a permanent job.
Are You Looking for a New GIS Technician Position?
Once you have the right qualifications, it’s time to launch your search and find an exciting GIS technician job opportunity. If you would appreciate assistance locating right-fit positions based on your skills, experience, and education, Selectek can help you identify the best options for you. Contact us to speak with one of our talented recruiters today.