Job Description: GIS Analyst/Planner – Local Government

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Briefly describe a typical day:
Meeting with GIS or Land Use planners. Editing zoning, utilities or hazards maps for 11 cities. Converting maps to web pages for an economic development web site. Supervising a tech or student intern. Preparing and giving presentations. Land use/economic development project work. Preparing maps for reports. GPS field work.

How do you use GIS to help your company?
See above.

GIS software used:
ArcView 3.2 and all extensions

What skills do you need to be successful in your position?
Ability to learn solo, initiative, interpersonal skills, patience, tech skills, HTML helps, general land-use planning concepts, attention to detail.

What do you particularly enjoy about your position?
Bringing technology and sound land use planning to rural communities in transition; small organization = “many hats,” never bored, good dedicated co-workers, “long leash”, good benefits and pay (relative to region).

What don’t you like about your position?
Small organization = “many hats,” politics of local-regional government, long hours.

How did you get started in GIS?:
Second career after archaeology and Forest Service. MS in Geography gave me a good general background of technical, physical geography and land use planning. I learned more concepts than software skills, but that was OK– it made it relatively easy to learn the software since I was using it 8 hours a day everyday.

How did you find out about your current position?:
Posting at Geography Department wall.

What parting words of advice to you have?:
Conceptual background and good interpersonal skills make it much easier to learn the software — that is the easiest though most time-consuming part.

Submitted March 30, 2001.

Job TitleIndustryLocation
GIS Analyst/PlannerLocal GovernmentOregon
Years of ExperienceEducation
Salary Range
($ USD)
2M.S. in Geography24K(1st yr.) – 30k(2nd)

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