Preview the 2017 URISA GIS Salary Survey

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While the full salary survey isn’t available for purchase yet, the executive summary for URISA’s 2017 GIS salary survey is available online.  The full survey will be released in January 2018 which will include cross tabulations of the results.  The survey, last done in 2010, takes a look at the current salary landscape for GIS professionals.

Over three thousand full-time GIS professionals participated in the survey.  Beyond looking at salary, the executive summary provides some nice overview statistics about the respondents including industry worked in, gender, age, and educational attainment.  The results are mostly U.S. based with 90.4% of respondents.  In addition, over half (57.7%) reported working for a government agency.

Two-thirds of the respondents were male which is inline with the global findings from an informal survey this site did back in 2014 about the gender balance in the GIS industry.  The GIS Lounge survey, however, noted that within the United States, 315 of the respondents (45.7%) were female and 375 (54.3%) were male.

Change in Average GIS Salaries Between 2010 and 2017

Between the 2010 and 2017 survey, the average salary rose 15.1% from $61,540 to $70,857.  It would be interesting to know if this increase is mostly attributed to a difference in the level of respondents, changes to salary structure within the GIS industry, or a combination of both.

The executive survey provides a breakdown of salary by GIS job title:

Average Salary by Job Title

Average Salary

Director of Geographic Information Systems/ Geographic Information Officer (GIO)


GIS Manager


GIS Coordinator


GIS Specialist


GIS Programmer


GIS Analyst


GIS Technician


User of GIS (Heavy)




Independent Consultant


GIS Business Development/Sales & Marketing


The survey also reported that those holding a GISP certificate earned, on average, more than non-GISP holders.

Average Salary by GISP Certification

Average Salary

Yes, I am a GISP


No, I’m not a GISP


You can preview more details about the upcoming release of the 2017 URISA GIS Salary Survey by reading through the executive summary [PDF].

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