GIS technicians make maps and customized geographic information systems (GIS) applications and manipulate data to serve a variety of purposes. They read and interpret maps, manipulate and understand digital land data, and manage data entered into a GIS database.
GIS technicians typically earn a Bachelor of Science degree in geography, computer science or engineering. Typical courses in these programs include GIS, geography, geosystems, historical geography, and computer architecture. GIS internships are especially important for gaining experience in the field. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four to five years. A master’s degree in geography can increase opportunities for career advancement and salary potential.
GIS technicians must have good attention to detail in order to maintain and enter data in a GIS database. They also need to have superb written and oral communication skills for creating and presenting data reports and training other people how to use GIS technology. They may also need to work on GIS programming.