Cartographers and Photogrammetrists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Cartographers and photogrammetrists usually have a bachelors degree in cartography, geography, geomatics, or surveying. (Geomatics combines the science, engineering, math, and art of collecting and managing geographically referenced information.) Although it is not as common, some have a bachelors degree in engineering, forestry, or computer science.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 19% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Licensing requirements for cartographers and photogrammetrists vary by state. Some states require cartographers and photogrammetrists to be licensed as surveyors, and some states have specific licenses for photogrammetry and remote sensing. Although licensing requirements vary by state, candidates must meet educational requirements and pass a test.
- Median pay: How much do Cartographers and Photogrammetrists make?
- $62,750 Annual Salary
- $30.17 per hour
Cartographers and photogrammetrists collect, measure, and interpret geographic information in order to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, and other purposes.
What do Cartographers and Photogrammetrists do?
Cartographers typically do the following:
- Collect geographic data
- Create visual representations of data, such as annual precipitation patterns
- Examine and compile data from ground surveys, reports, aerial photographs, and satellite images
- Prepare maps in digital or graphic form for environmental and educational purposes
- Update and revise existing maps and charts
Photogrammetrists typically do the following:
- Plan aerial and satellite surveys to ensure complete coverage of the area in question
- Collect and analyze spatial data, such as elevation and distance
- Develop base maps that allow Geographic Information System (GIS) data to be layered on top
Cartographers are mapmakers who design user-friendly maps. Photogrammetrists are specialized mapmakers who use various technologies to build models of the Earths surface and its features for the purpose of creating maps.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists use information from geodetic surveys (land surveys that account for the curvature of the Earths surface) and remote-sensing systems, including aerial cameras and satellites. Some also use light-imaging detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology. LIDAR systems use lasers attached to planes or cars to digitally map the topography of the Earth. Because LIDAR is often more accurate than traditional surveying methods, it can also be used to collect other forms of data, such as the location and density of forests.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists often develop online and mobile maps. Interactive maps are popular, and cartographers and photogrammetrists collect data and design these maps for mobile phones and navigation systems.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists also create maps and perform aerial surveys for governments, to aid in urban and regional planning. Such maps may include information on population density and demographic characteristics. Some cartographers and photogrammetrists help build maps for government agencies for work involving national security and public safety. Accurate maps help emergency responders provide assistance as quickly as possible.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists who use GIS technology to create maps are often known as geographic information specialists. GIS technology is typically used to assemble, integrate, analyze, and present spatial information in a digital format. Maps created with GIS technology combine spatial graphic features with data. These maps are used to provide support for decisions involving environmental studies, geology, engineering, land-use planning, and business marketing.
Careers for Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
- Cadastral mappers
- Digital cartographers
- Engineers, photogrammetric
- GIS specialists
- Geographic information specialists
- Geographic information systems specialists
- Map makers
- Mapping product engineers
- Orthophotography technicians
- Photo cartographers
- Photogrammetric engineers