Are gis technician job opportunities growing or declining?

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Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most gis technician opportunities?

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john Mckee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

76 months ago

well I don't know about that. I am not the only one.I have a great attitude I am just stateing the fax. Some people get lucky but most are flipping burgers like me sorry.

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sharon in Bend, Oregon

74 months ago

Im just starting my degree plan in the GIS field im in the two year program.Im in the first semester and feeling very overwhelmed, I was in the medical fieldpreviously, the program director told me I didnt need any real cmptr knowledge before starting the program now its midterms an im very fustrated I dont want to leave the program but also dont want to keep banging my head.My question(finally) is this a common feeling with this program im really at breaking point.

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Jim in Hanover Park, Illinois

74 months ago

I just went back to school to take GIS classes, the field is small which creates more of a demand..think Navteq

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LA in Atlanta, Georgia

74 months ago

I think y'all should lay off of John. He's just had a rough time. I can relate with this profession.

I do disagree with Brooks though; I don't feel you need all of that to excel in GIS. Of course, the classes one has in college are basic programming and basic Access. The skills you are talking about are the skills of someone with years of experience. Those are not the skills of a beginner or technician.

Starting out in GIS employers want you to know how to make maps and create data. They don't want you to program. If they do, then the job should pay much higher, and they should hire a programmer because these classes are not taught on an in depth level in college.

That's why GIS a hard career. As I stated in another post, employers want you to have a computer progammer's skills but pay you less than half of their salary.

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LA in Atlanta, Georgia

74 months ago

sharon in Bend, Oregon said: Im just starting my degree plan in the GIS field im in the two year program.Im in the first semester and feeling very overwhelmed, I was in the medical fieldpreviously, the program director told me I didnt need any real cmptr knowledge before starting the program now its midterms an im very fustrated I dont want to leave the program but also dont want to keep banging my head.My question(finally) is this a common feeling with this program im really at breaking point.

Yes Sharon, this is common. Being a female myself, I can relate. I almost wanted to quit the whole degree the classes were so hard. The teachers teach you nothing, and the classes don't prepare you for the real world. I actually do have good computer skills; of course, not that of a programmer or someone who could put a computer together. The director lied to you; GIS is computer intensive. You should have stayed in the medical program. Once you get out of college, you will find that a medical degree would have paid much higher than a GIS position. The only thing i can suggest is to not give up and finish your classes. Just make sure you pass (atleast with a C), see if you can switch degrees without losing a lot of credits or see if you can graduate with an Associate in GIS.

Good luck!

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Matt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

74 months ago

Hi Sharon, I sympathize with your concerns. I signed up for our GIS certificate program at the tail end of my PhD coursework in cultural anthropology (a traditionally NON-computer-related field), and quickly found myself essentially in over my head. I understand where LA's response comes from; however, with my two cents I'd advise not hastily dropping the program. Obviously not knowing the faculty, TAs, and other folks you're working with in Oregon, I nonetheless lean towards the option of contacting your advisor (or a friendly GIS prof) and raising your concerns -- technical as they can be, I've found them on the whole to be (a) generally approachable, and more importantly (b) willing to help (referring you to tutorial websites, putting you in touch with an advanced student as a de facto tutor, etc.). Over the past few years there has been a fairly impressive and rapid expansion of GIS into a diverse range of fields/disciplines ("GIS & Public Health" comes to mind as a nice dovetailing opportunity with your medical background). I'm not necessarily recommending that you 'stay the course' (as it were) at all costs -- certainly not at the expense of your GPA or enthusiasm for the path you're on. All I'm writing here comes from the path I took, from nearly dropping the program halfway through my first GIS course to netting a 4.0 in it when all was said and done. In either case, I wish the best to you, whatever your decision.

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James Hines in Cambridge, Nova Scotia

74 months ago

So after three years of whining & blaming others, (because I was merely a cart pusher), I said this is enough I'm going to do something about it. So if I couldn't get the job through an employer freelance yourself out to prospective clients. Now I admit I'm not doing a very good job of it only getting a few clients however at least I'm getting some experience. And I have been slowly trying to learn programming languages even offering myself out for projects I have no knowledge of in terms of IMS type applications simply by hiring others to do the job for me so that I can learn from them & hopefully have a hand in the project in one fashion or another. In other words even if I'm not going to succeed at freelancing at least I'm setting myself up for a career in the GIS field. Because believe me it's not easy.

So John I was an angry person & if you still want in try freelancing, & don't give the excuse of your income. I have a huge student debt, I only made $200 per week pushing carts, & thanks to the people on the site: www.cartotalk.com/ I have been pursuing the career I am interested in. So even rate now I’m living in poverty but I fully expect to do pretty darn good in the future.

So if your likely thinking that the software is too expensive, (the ArcGIS suite is), buy the inexpensive powerful Manifold GIS suite. Manifold isn't ArcGIS but in terms of programming it's using the same scripting language of C#, SQL, VB, or whatever you want to specialize in. So if you can obtain the minimum of Illustrator & Manifold you could get started today & just build up as you can afford to.

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ANewb in Panama City, Florida

74 months ago

I think that whether or not GIS jobs are on the up or the down really depends on your location and who you're trying to get a job with. For instance, if you search indeed's website for GIS jobs in GA, you might get some results, probably all within the Atlanta metro area, most of which will be well out of the league of entry-level techs. If you search GIS in CA or FL however, you have a better chance of 1.) more entry level jobs and 2.) more GIS jobs in general spread out over a larger geographic area and a variety of fields. If there is one piece of advice that I can offer to those looking for a job in GIS, it is to be flexible and be able to relocate. I know alot of people I went to school with that couldn't because of family, etc., but it is something to keep in mind. Do not limit yourself geographically.

Something else worth mentioning is that alot of people still don't realize the benefit of having a GIS in their company. They need to be sold on it, they need to know that it's going to be useful to them in some way before they invest money in it. We need to show them why it's worth it. In this age, knowing how to use a GIS is fast becoming a requirement as so many companies are learning what kind of benefits they can reap from hiring people such as ourselves. There are also so many applications of GIS in so many fields - real estate, business, marketing, urban development, community planning, conservation, environmental science, tax assessing, public health, disaster management...I could go on.

In short, don't give up that job search if GIS is really what you want to pursue, because while it may look bleak in one state or city, it's on the rise in another - you just have to be there. Look at all of your options in every field and geographic area. Do not limit yourself to one thing or the other. Be flexible.

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Carp in Waycross, Georgia

73 months ago

Working with GIS is fun. By trade I am a planner. I fell into GIS over several years and have combined my GIS and planner skills. The most useful course that I have taken is ms access. I have no programming back ground so I simply look for scripts from other sources and use them-can do for programming in access also.

Yes you all are correct in that straight GIS jobs are hard to come by. If you look at a GIS as a tool to solve a problems you will view it differently. If I where looking for a job at this time I would look towards a small county and speak to the tax assessor. The reason is that small counties are switching from paper to digital maps. Yeah it may be boring at first, but rest assured that once department heads know that you can use it you will become overwhelmed shortly.

The best part is that starting with a small county that has no system or has become frustrate because someone screwed it up is a plus. Just remember that with a GIS do not be afraid to try things. Just back you data up and do not be afraid to screw up.

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T Dorey in Halifax, Nova Scotia

73 months ago

I am a GIS Technician in Nova Scotia, Canada and the jobs are very abundant across the Country. Whether or not you would be willing to relocate would be your only obstacle. I was worried when I first enetered the field but I'm getting term position after term position in the area of my choice and every boss I have had has wanted to hire me full time. With the new Municipal budget coming up in April I have a feeling there will be a few oppotunities and I already have my foot in the door. I say if it is something you're interested in then go for it. Here in Nova Scotia they have a two year diploma course to become a GIS Technician and you get on the job training. It's amazing. Every person that I graduated with has been hired and companies are still going to the college in request for employees. There have even been a few companies from the US that have come looking for potential employees. The school is NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences. I love being a GIS Tech and I hope you enjoy it just as much.

Some examples of Jobs I've done (If you interested in some work examples): I've updated the mapping database for my municipality, did all of their base mapping as well as specifics like infrastructure and an awesome coastal hazard risk assessment map. Then I was hired again for a position finding, inventorying, mapping, and organizing the clean up of illegal dumpsites. I love field work. And right now I'm on another position for the Municipality at the Land registration office doing their PID - AAN Match. I read deeds to verify the owner, then create or match an assessment account and make changes to the mapping when needed. I know in Hawaii last year they needed a GIS Tech to map and plan a reserve for their endangered species of birds. There's tones of oppotunities.

Best of luck. (And P.S. Should you take a GIS Tech course I highly recommend buying an external hard drive. Its perfect for backing up EVERYTHING!)

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Ricky in Piscataway, New Jersey

72 months ago

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_Basic

I am a bit surprised that GIS jobs are requiring Visual Basic instead of C++ or something like that (given that Microsoft supposedly ended support for Visual Basic). I have worked with Microsoft Access, though, and I have also worked as a GIS intern for a year - and wouldn't mind working more. The problem is that I'm in a Ph.D program at a school in the Northeast USA (which is apparently not the best part of the country for planning/geography/ GIS jobs, to judge from job postings online - the South and West apparently are). The result is that I have not had a job for three years, just a hard-working studenthood (gathering source materials for a dissertation, casual GIS work, casual computer-assisted design work, writing, analyzing). In addition, my county, Middlesex County, NJ, doesn't really appear to "grok" GIS - it doesn't have parcel maps on hand; I doubt it has a GIS system of much sophistication to it. On the other hand, Somerset County, which is next door, has a pretty good handle on GIS (I should know, it's where I worked as an intern).

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john mckee in Charleston, West Virginia

72 months ago

LA in Atlanta, Georgia said: I think y'all should lay off of John. He's just had a rough time. I can relate with this profession.

I do disagree with Brooks though; I don't feel you need all of that to excel in GIS. Of course, the classes one has in college are basic programming and basic Access. The skills you are talking about are the skills of someone with years of experience. Those are not the skills of a beginner or technician.

Starting out in GIS employers want you to know how to make maps and create data. They don't want you to program. If they do, then the job should pay much higher, and they should hire a programmer because these classes are not taught on an in depth level in college.

That's why GIS a hard career. As I stated in another post, employers want you to have a computer progammer's skills but pay you less than half of their salary.

Thank you so much you should drop me a line sometime at johnhmckee@yahoo.com ps I got a job with an engineering company so all is well merry christmas!!

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prsawyer in Sevierville, Tennessee

72 months ago

I just graduated from college and I have been looking for a GIS job for about a year still have not found one. Most of the jobs require 5-10 years experience which I do not have.

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James in Hurricane, West Virginia

71 months ago

Check out some GIS job websites. If West Virginia has jobs then the whole country should have them.

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Steve in Greensboro, North Carolina

71 months ago

Hey Ricky they want vb as esri is in vb. esri's arc objects book is a great place to start.

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Izzy in Dallas, Texas

70 months ago

Jobs are on the decline if only because of the economy. If times were better, I think you would see more opportunities in GIS. Oil/gas/energy and engineering firms are usually good places to look for tech jobs, but as I said - with the economy being the way it is, I wouldn't be surprised if most places are on a hiring freeze.

Anyway, if you're looking to get into the GIS field, I suggest you network heavily. There are opportunities out there that don't get advertised and you only find out about them if you have someone on the inside :)

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DanB in London, Ontario

70 months ago

Hey guys, I'm looking for your opinion here on re-entering the GIS field.

I graduated from university with a geography degree, followed by a GIS applications specialist diploma [SSFC,Lindsay]. This was 10 yrs. ago. Upon graduating, I worked for the OMNR for two ~ 8 mth. contracts. Afterward, I made the mistake of heading out west and working for a government aerial photo services department [essentially researched/sold aerial photographs to general public/companies/government agencies] for ~ 1.5 yrs. I was disillusioned at the time and quite lost with direction.
Having a grandfather/father who were both at one time Chartered Accountants, I decided to re-enter school for accounting. I completed a 3 yr. business-admin accounting diploma, granting me 13 of 18 transferable CGA credits. I then have worked various accounts payable/receivable/general ledger positions typical of entry level accounting students. The only problem is: I really dislike taxation and auditing, let alone cost accounting.

I'm wondering how much the software has changed over 10 yrs. At the time, I was using ArcInfo at the OMNR. Unfortunately, I've likely lost much of the AML scripting knowledge. If I beef up on Visual Basic, C++ and Access would this be suitable to re-enter or what hope do I have....
Open to any/all suggestions

Dan

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KickenChicken in Hixson, Tennessee

69 months ago

prsawyer in Sevierville, Tennessee said: I just graduated from college and I have been looking for a GIS job for about a year still have not found one. Most of the jobs require 5-10 years experience which I do not have.

There are GIS jobs in Knoxville, TN. you just have to know where to look.

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Penny Sawyer in Sevierville, Tennessee

69 months ago

Really I have tried several places in Knoxville and no one is hiring. I even search online national there is jobs such as entry level positions either I do not meet some of the qualifications or they are looking for someone with more experience.

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kyasskicker in Altamonte Springs, Florida

68 months ago

Mainly contract jobs. Small companies making a buck off your education. I really luv the India guys claiming minority contracts. They don't pay u right, they screw up your taxes and all the while getting government breaks to figure how to ship your job overseas!

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Brandie in Charleston, West Virginia

67 months ago

Try getting into some organizations and meeting people in the GIS field. Such as here in WV we have the WV Association of Geospatial Professionals; www.wvagp.org/ Many of the GIS department heads are members and it is a good way of getting yourself out there and noticed. Look around in your state for similar groups or even national groups.

John Mckee- Welcome to WV! Glad to see that you found a position. It can be rough out there.

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johnfromfl in Titusville, Florida

67 months ago

john Mckee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: GIS Jobs are on the decline. I have been out of work for 3 years with no prsspects.The field is dead the only way to get a job is in government and at that you have to know someone.I wasted 4 years and 40,000 dollars on this waste of time career at Penn State University. I graduated with honors. I am currently a dishwasher. So go into something else if your smart

I work in the GIS field and found that the jobs are to the west. There are plenty of jobs out there. You have to look in the right places. the keyword is "NETWORKING."

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Lola

64 months ago

john Mckee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: GIS Jobs are on the decline. I have been out of work for 3 years with no prsspects.The field is dead the only way to get a job is in government and at that you have to know someone.I wasted 4 years and 40,000 dollars on this waste of time career at Penn State University. I graduated with honors. I am currently a dishwasher. So go into something else if your smart

If you graduated with honors from Penn State, then you should know that it's YOU'RE not YOUR.

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Glen in Parkville, Maryland

64 months ago

I can't speak for every area in the US, but in this area, it is tough to find a job without a security clearance. I am currently working and just casually keeping an eye out for jobs that are more of interest to the field I want to be in (crime analysis). Just an FYI, I am sure many of you already know about it, but I use indeed.com for a search engine. It seems to pull from most job posting websites, and company employment pages occasionally, but is a pretty good tool in the pursuit of employment.

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Gogetter in Buffalo, New York

63 months ago

maparo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Wow, bitter at all? Could be that attitude is part of what got you out of work, and kept you there. Graduating with honors and professionalism are not necessarily diadic counterparts.

Lets not be harsh on the dishwasher, his attitude toward the fields reflects his frustration and disappointment with the false expectations of a career pay off for our hard work. I believe that we all have had to struggle to meet academic requirements with little career direction once we've graduated. It's assumed for us to find a job in our field with few suggestions from academia. I have found that I have had to be creative in the planning career to stay relevant. So John,while you're washing dishes by night, start a block club that grows to a community development center by day. Make sure you work on popular projects like green development so that you can get recognition as a planner. Starting such a center will give you a gold feather in your cap in your community and on your resume...after a while you should be able to apply for exec level planning positions. Being from a fellow rust belt town, we must relocate in many cases, so I have also be looking for professional recruiters to find the right urban planning job across the nation.Good luck and remember that the world needs more dishwashers than planners anyway (smile) so your job is just as important!

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MatLock in Spokane, Washington

63 months ago

I have a GIS degree and about 3 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry. Like everyone is saying, learn programming if you want to survive. Also, "It's not what you know but who you know." The only reason I got my last job was because of the connections I made from my job before that. Anyway, the GIS program I went through required a good about of computer science and information system courses. The problem I've come across is actually convincing your boss that you know more then making point, lines and polygons on the screen. I've been treated like a draftsmen and hardly like a professional with a degree. Hell, I know more about programming and networking then the IT guys that I've worked with but it doesn't matter because I'm the mapper and only know about maps. It sucks. Anyway, keep up the search for jobs. I was laid off in June and haven't had much luck. I'm giving myself until December and then may jump ship to another career. I'm thinking about going into the medical field. My girlfriend spent a year in school and can get a job in any state in less then a month. In the meantime I am learning as much as I can about java/php and mysql. I'm basically taking the time to solve all the problems I encountered in my previous jobs. Our GIS Manager loved flat files and couldn't understand why anyone would need a relational database. I never got to start up a geospatial database like I wanted to do so I'm doing it now since I have the time. Should be fun and hopefully I can send a link to companies that I'm applying for. I know it helped when I just graduated from college. Plus you can check the logs and find out what IP addresses to find out if that company in Atlanta, GA went to your site. Best of luck.

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JohnFromFL in Titusville, Florida

63 months ago

I work here in Florida and at the least every other month I am asked to work for another company within my area. There are other jobs around in the maping field here in Florida. The jobs are out there and the recruiters are looking. I have to keep turning the offers down as I want to move out of Florida. Orlando, Jacksonville and Miami are looking for GIS people. You might have to move to get working again.

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MatLock in Spokane, Washington

63 months ago

I have no problem moving. I've lived in 4 different states in the last year. I had some offers last summer but nothing right now.

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R Carter in Atlanta, Georgia

62 months ago

Man I've been in the GIS industry for 10yrs. Ive been laid off 4 times.
I didn't have a degree focused on GIS. I had went to school for business Adm.

I built my resume as a contractor working for large Gov't firms. Now the industry has changed. Your right it is more focused on programming.

The trend is moving toward WEB application development, Application Developement and building Enterprise Networks.

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MTZ in El Prado, New Mexico

62 months ago

pressful in Sacramento, California said: I've been doing GIS for about 18 years... when it was a really small field almost no one had heard of. It is a rapidly growing field and now I find that in a typical group of people, usually someone has heard of it.

I think the problem in terms of jobs, is that there are a lot of people who have heard of it but don't really understand it. Many think it's map making. I've seen people who change around the graphics on some data and call it analysis. There are also a lot of poorly trained people who give the field a bad name.

If you really want to excel in the field (and there are some who really do), then you need to know programming and database design.

I am new to the field and have many questions about how I can advance my knowledge and skills. What do you recommend I focus on as a beginner? Your input is appreciated.

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jkshackelford in Beaumont, Texas

61 months ago

I have a BS in Env.Science that I got back in '99. I have left that field due to being an environmental lawyer with a third of the pay. Every job I got, I was basically looking at laws and reg's the entire day, while making about 30K/year. I was wondering if GIS was a good career change? Is there any money in it? I've got a family to feed and support, so yeah, money does matter. I've searched the jobs for my city and the surroundings and there are none!!! I don't want to get burned again. I'm 36 and basically feel like I've got nothing under my belt even though I've got a BS (literally) in Environmental Science. Sorry to sound so bitter.

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Agustin in Tallmadge, Ohio

61 months ago

So then how can you effectively do networking outside the current geographic area you live in?

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jkshackelford in Sour Lake, Texas

61 months ago

Agustin,

I can't. I'm just trying to find out if GIS is the coming thing? Really don't want to give ESRI a lot of money and studying time for nothing. Basically, I'm gunshy about spending money and time on a "possible" career, kinda like I did with the Environmental degree. Not wanting to make another expensive mistake.

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Agustin in Tallmadge, Ohio

61 months ago

jkshackelford in Sour Lake, Texas said: Agustin,

I can't. I'm just trying to find out if GIS is the coming thing? Really don't want to give ESRI a lot of money and studying time for nothing. Basically, I'm gunshy about spending money and time on a "possible" career, kinda like I did with the Environmental degree. Not wanting to make another expensive mistake.

I got lucky; received a scholarship and fellowship for a MS degree in Geographic Information Sciences which I'll finish in a couple of days. I know that the University of Akron OH (certified ESRI Development Center-EDC), Binghamton University NY, and West Virginia University currently have same/similar assistantships and they are eager to get new students. If you even type GIS in WV on simplyhired.com you'll see that West Virginia University even announced their assistantship opportunities about 20 days ago. But, then again, relocating may not be that fun.
Right now I'm GIS job hunting for almost any position, applying all over the place; playing the game of odds. I'll let you know how that goes.

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Matt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

61 months ago

The bitterness and frustration are certainly understandable, especially given recent years' economic and employment climates. I certainly can't speak for others' experiences, but for folks in a spot like JKS integrating GIS skills into an already-existing interest might a better way to approach the question than thinking the Env BS is 'wasted' time and money. My background is medical anthropology/infectious disease research -- along the way I fell into GIS by way of a 7-course certificate program. That combination (beyond just basic 'GIS skills') is what did it for me. I started here as a GIS Specialist, then within the year received a nice promotion/raise/nicer, and now have a full-time GIS Specialist working for me. Her starting salary? $40K (w/benefits). Her background? BS in Environmental Sciences, with a GIS ertificate.

These days, if there's a GIS-related career in anyone's future, it's most likely to be found by integrating GIS with what one already enjoys and does well. Through AARA there's about $73B slated for projects and positions requiring 'geospatial' knowledge, experience, and techniques. In the private sector, more and more companies are moving towards developing geospatial capabilities internally rather than hiring out GIS contracts.

Bringing two (or more) skill-sets to the table REALLY increases marketibility. It's also increases the odds that the position you attain will be one that you actually like, so that you look forward to work each day rather than dread it. Being willing to relocate (admittedly, tougher and scarier when there's a family to move, as well) also helps. In the interim, if you can work it into your budget, there are increasing options for online GIS classes and programs that you can pursue from right there in Sour Lake, Tallmadge, Milwaukee, or wherever.

Best of luck!

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jkshackelford in Beaumont, Texas

61 months ago

Matt,

Thanks for the reply. It's good to see a positive note for GIS. I hope the typhical salary for a GIS Specialist with another background such as mine is higher that 40K/year. Anyway, thanks for the help.

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Rob in Washington, District of Columbia

60 months ago

john Mckee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: GIS Jobs are on the decline. I have been out of work for 3 years with no prsspects.The field is dead the only way to get a job is in government and at that you have to know someone.I wasted 4 years and 40,000 dollars on this waste of time career at Penn State University. I graduated with honors. I am currently a dishwasher. So go into something else if your smart

The job market is booming in DC. Move away from Pittsburg.

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Fred in Darien, Georgia

59 months ago

Jim have you check into any planning jobs. That is how I got started in GIS. As a planner a GIS skill set is very important, and very few planners have that. In South Georgia several Forestry Companies also use GIS. Try the Tax Assessor's office. I would explore some options other than just working in a GIS Department. Good luck!

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Jim in Gig Harbor, Washington

59 months ago

Thanks, Fred. I appreciate your feedback.

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Carlos F in Surrey, British Columbia

57 months ago

I have been out of work for 2 years now. I took a bachelor's degree in GIS and it's so hard to find GIS jobs. There are so many applying to GIS jobs. Once, I had an interview and I asked he lady how many people had applied to the job and she said about 250! That is a lot of people for one position.

I have been working as a powerwasher to pay for my bills. yeah.. sucks to be me!

Seriously, I should have taken something else if I knew this was going to happen. ESRI makes it seem like GIS jobs are through the roof. (LIE!) They just want to sell you their software, which I have nothing against them because IT IS the best software, but they just lie about that LITTLE fact.

So, like someone said above.. if you really want to excel on this career you have to really really know programming (about 5-10 programming languages) and really good database design.

So, in other words there are a few jobs out there, but they are for software developers/engineers that have taken a few courses in GIS.

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Carlos F in Surrey, British Columbia

57 months ago

Hi T. Dorey,

I am really excited about GIS too, but every morning I wake up really excited to see if there is even going to be a new job posted on the work websites. I look up about 50 career websites every day to try to find a job. But I always go to sleep thinking that either tomorrow will be the same, or that tomorrow there might be a new GIS posting in my province.

I live in Vancouver, BC. A lot of companies are using GIS, but no one is letting go of those positions. It seems like every company has the GIS people that they need already.

So, what we are talking about here is if there are any jobs. Yes, there are jobs around Canada, but if you have to relocate to a different province, to a town that is about 2,500 miles away from your family, wife, kids, friends, etc. then that really contradicts your statement that there are jobs in Canada. So, in other words: yes, there are jobs in Canada, but you have to relocate to a really cold part of Canada, even the north pole. And who wants to live up there?

I have been unemployed for 2 years now. I have a degree in GIS. I have about 5-6 years of experience in the Civil/Environmental GIS field... and it is so hard to find a job.

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James in Centreville, Nova Scotia

57 months ago

Carlos F in Surrey, British Columbia said:

I have been unemployed for 2 years now. I have a degree in GIS. I have about 5-6 years of experience in the Civil/Environmental GIS field... and it is so hard to find a job.


If you can not find work & you want to keep up with the field try working as a consultant in the field. ESRI is not the only GIS vendor out there, & there are cheaper alternative pieces of GIS software to buy. And who knows maybe you can land a job or if you are determined enough as a last resort go back & take some advanced GIS courses that involve training with programming languages. And don't let yourself down too much there's still a recession that's going on, don't believe what you hear from the media.

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Derek Johnson in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

57 months ago

I just finished my B.S. in statistics, math, and computer science. Immediately upon graduation, the geography department offered me a full ride/assistantship. I have been taking these really easy classes to obtain the M.S. in GISci and teaching entry level classes as part of my assistantship. I am pretty sure I am a good candidate for a Ph.D. in GIS. My question arises when thinking of possible jobs I will be able to obtain when I am finished (other than a professor of geography). Can anyone help?

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Dany in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario

55 months ago

What's strange when reading this thread is how different the perception is here in Ontario. There's so many damn jobs in Ontario and even moreso in Alberta. The number of GIS related jobs in Alberta is scary. I know people getting offers right out of graduation. The biggest issue or trend I see is people graduating with the expectation of getting a high-paying entry level job in one specific city. You have to be alot more flexible then that, especially in a field as specialized as this. Oil, Forestry, Health and Government is fantastic (at least here in Canada) for job opportunities. Edmonton, Ft. McMurray, Calgary, Ottawa and the GTA have alot of jobs floating around.

My random $.02

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hemm64 in Phoenix, Arizona

54 months ago

I am looking for a Gis Technician job in Arizona. I have a Graduate Gis Certificate and 5 years of experience. I have worked with local governments and private industry.
I am also open to relocation but I would prefer the Southwest U.S.
If anyone has any job leads it would be very helpful.

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Cori in Orange Park, Florida

54 months ago

I have a BA in Business Administration and a GIS Technician Certificate. I have been looking for a GIS position in Northeast Florida for 2+ years. In 2-3 years I have only been able to apply for 2 local GIS positions and each time the position was given to an internal job applicant. As most have mentioned, the few GIS jobs that are posted in this area, require many years of progamming experience. Most employers either are not hiring in their GIS departments; or they have drastically downsized their GIS deparments; or they no longer have a GIS department and now outsource their GIS needs. I have been networking for 2+ years, and it has not helped. People, however, have been very supportive and compassionate towards encouraging me not to give up on my dream of working in GIS. Many people I talk to say their employers would rather promote someone within the organization (even if they have no GIS certificate, nor GIS experience) than hire someone from outside who has a GIS certificate, experience, or both. I've submitted applications all over the US and most won't consider applicants who live out of the area. I have had telephone interviews with 2 agencies and repeatedly stated I am willing to relocate, but never heard back. It has been very disheartening.

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Hemm64 in Phoenix, Arizona

54 months ago

I feel your pain Cori I wish I had a solution for you. I believe most Gis projects can be put on hold with local governments. I have worked for governments and private industry. No one told me when I was getting my graduate certificate I would have to become a database designer or a fluent programmer.
I am at the point where I just might get trained in something else.
I have looked also for two years and your right now employers are hiring internal canidates who usually don't even know Gis. I saw it at a county I contracted for. I worked pretty steady in the field since 2003 to 2008 but when the recession started in 2007 the Gis jobs dried up.
I also have student loans and time invested but I might have to cut my losses and try something where there is some actual jobs.
Good luck, thats all I can say right now and sorry it is negative. But the Gis market sucks right now and most employers want to hire within their own state. So relocation is even difficult. But if the economy changes there will be more Gis jobs if you can hang on that long.

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Fred in Waycross, Georgia

54 months ago

Cori drop me an email at fcarpenter1960@gmail.com. I have a few contacts that I am willing to call. Just drop me an email.

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mikevjp in Sparks, Nevada

54 months ago

john Mckee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: GIS Jobs are on the decline. I have been out of work for 3 years with no prsspects.The field is dead the only way to get a job is in government and at that you have to know someone.I wasted 4 years and 40,000 dollars on this waste of time career at Penn State University. I graduated with honors. I am currently a dishwasher. So go into something else if your smart

Seems like you didn't use your time and resources wisely; Penn State University? Hmmmm. Seems like you need to learn something about networking, creating a portfolio, and using EVERY avenue possible to successfully land a job.

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