Job Description: GIS Specialist – Insurance

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Briefly describe a typical day:
I spend most of my day creating new GIS data or revising, modifying, and correcting existing GIS data.  When I’m not working on the data, I am running numerous volume & coverage reports for our sales & marketing dept as well as brainstorming new ideas that will improve our company’s efficiency and workflow.

How do you use GIS to help your company?
GIS is the backbone of our company.  We try to automate as much of our total volume as possible and the percentage we automate depends greatly on having the GIS data coverage, and having it up-to-date.

GIS software used:
MapInfo v4.12 & v6.0

What skills do you need to be successful in your position?
To be successful in this position one not only has to have a good understanding of how to manipulate the GIS data and the MapInfo software we use, but also be able to think independently and creatively to get the most important work done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What do you particularly enjoy about your position?
I have always enjoyed working with maps and computers and my position allows me to do both.  I get to work independently and at the end of the day I know that our company would not be where it is without me.

What don’t you like about your position?
I don’t like that I am the only one doing this job and that be I retire I can not possibly get to 25% of all the work and various projects that I want to do

How did you get started in GIS?:
When I was at the university, we used GIS in a handful of different courses and when I found we had one class completely devoted to learning about GIS, I made sure I took it.

How did you find out about your current position?:
I looked in the local paper advertisements and found a different job at the company I currently work for.  After I began working for this company, I found out that we had a GIS position and I made sure that everyone in the company knew I wanted that position, so as soon as the previous GIS Specialist left for a new opportunity, I was all but assured of taking his spot.

What parting words of advice to you have?:
This is one of the funniest and most satisfying jobs I have ever had.  Maps and geography are such an important part our everyday lives and it’s a shame that more Americans aren’t geography proficient.  Did you know that Michael Jordan majored in geography?  Now you do.

Submitted March 29, 2001.

Job TitleIndustryLocation
GIS SpecialistFlood InsuranceCalifornia
Years of ExperienceEducation
Salary Range
($ USD)
1B.A. Urban Geography$30,000 – $45,000/year


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