Geographic Information System (GIS) engineers are responsible for managing and supporting GIS applications. Sometimes referred to as GIS analysts, these IT professionals may also extract data from GIS software, build enterprise databases and configure web applications to meet the needs of their clients. Salary varies by experience and company size.
In 2012, computer systems analysts earned $83,800 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this figure doesn’t account for application, which can affect earnings. A survey by Modis, a national recruiter for IT professionals, provides a more accurate estimate of what GIS professionals earn. As of 2013, mid-level GIS analysts, or those with four to six years of experience, averaged $57,589 a year.
As with any job, experience affects earnings. Entry-level GIS analysts earned anywhere from $30,860 to $47,254, but the average was closer to $40,525. Those with two to three years of experience averaged $48,113 while those with seven to 10 years of experience averaged of $68,635. GIS analysts with 10 or more years of experience earn $65,896 to $102,827, with an average of $84,883.
Like experience, the size of the organization also affects earnings. For example, entry-level GIS analysts averaged $37,416 at small companies, $38,877 at mid-size companies and $41,228 at large companies. Senior GIS analysts averaged $79,688 at small companies, $83,031 at mid-size companies and $86,831 at large companies.
The BLS expects employment of computer systems analysts as a whole to grow by as much as 22 percent through 2020. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an estimated 14 percent. However, systems analysts, such as GIS professionals, can expect an even higher growth rate – an average of 43 percent during this same period.
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