GIS Salary Survey Results

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GIS Lounge is running a quick survey to look at the state of GIS salaries.  Since the poll was launched three days ago, there have been 185 respondents.  

Respondents to the GIS salary survey were asked to supply the following information:

  • generalized GIS job title
  • annual salary in US dollars
  • length of time working in GIS
  • whether the position is full-time or part-time
  • yes/no answer to the requirement of programming skills in the current position.

GIS Industry

Almost half (45%) of the respondents report employment within a governmental agency.  An additional 26% of respondents are GIS consultants.  The majority (179) of the respondents indicated they were in a full-time position.

Industry # of Respondents% of Respondents
Government 8345%
Academia 84%
Consulting 4826%
Retail 11%
Software Development 105%
Other 3519%

GIS Job Categories

The 185 respondents are broken down as follows based on their job titles.

Job Title # of Respondents% of Respondents
Intern 84%
Technician/Specialist 5530%
Analyst 6435%
Project Manager 2011%
Manager 3821%

Length of Time in GIS Industry

As would be expected, interns have the shortest average time in GIS with 1.38 years.  GIS technicians on average have been in the GIS industry for 7.66 years.  GIS Analysts reported an average of 7.08 years, project managers for 13.55 years, and GIS managers for 12.80 years.

GIS Salary

The average, low, and high salaries provided for full-time GIS professionals is listed below.  The survey did not ask for the country of origin and the salaries inputed are from a variety of countries worldwide.

Job TitleAverage SalaryLowHigh
Intern N/A  
Technician/Specialist $48,539 $3,960 $121,000
Analyst $56,750 $1,000 $110,000
Project Manager $67,044 $14,400 $130,000
Manager $82,449 $2,500 $250,000

GIS Programming

There is a growing demand for GIS programming skills.  That said, 60% (111) of the respondents indicated that programming skills were not required for their current position. GIS Analysts and managers had the highest percentage of respondents that are currently in positions that require programming skills.

Job TitleTotal RespondentsProgramming RequiredPercentage
Intern 8  2 25%
Technician/Specialist 54 16 29%
Analyst 64 32 50%
Project Manager 20 4 25%
Manager 38 20 53%

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6 thoughts on “GIS Salary Survey Results”

  1. Why did you lump specialists and technicians in together? This is a very bad idea; pay-wise, “Specialists” are closer to Analysts than Technicians.

  2. I think this study must be enhanced with entering other parameters as well, in order to make it more effective (years of experience, company status, hourly rates, …).

    Anyway, it’s the first time that I’m meeting this type of surveys and I found it really interesting.

    Elaborate a little more, Thank you.

  3. The average length of time for some of these job titles show that many of the long-time professionals have already retired. I work in the Phoenix area and the workers who have 15-20+ years of service are paid much higher. Of the 15 employees in my office, there are only (3) people with less than 15 years of experience. Most of us are classified as GIS Analysts, earning $65K-$75K per year. Some of the city governments & consulting companies pay their employees $75K-$100K. That would be the base pay for people with considerably more skills who are programmers, developers, etc.

    I agree wholeheartedly that GIS professionals who work in rural areas are paid much less, mostly because of the local/regional budgets being less. I’ve also found that education level does not factor into most GIS positions, which I think is wrong.

  4. What about an adjustment for the cost of living? Places like New York and California are going to pay more than rural states in the south simply because it costs more to live there.

  5. Those low salary numbers makes me think you should ask for an hourly rate, otherwise, your average is imbalanced with part-time versus full-time.

  6. All I can say is that I’m underpaid based on these results. This also doesn’t seem to track with salaries in job listings.

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