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Design & planning

Geospatial technician

Geospatial technicians collect data to create maps, update satellite navigation systems and plan construction projects.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £32,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: 9am to 5pm;

Future employment

There will be 4% more Geospatial technician jobs in 2025.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • adding geographic data and satellite imagery to a management system
  • using specialist equipment like advanced GPS, laser scanners and drones
  • gathering visual information like aerial photos, geological surveys and satellite images
  • working closely with customers, engineers and project teams
  • providing technical GIS reports or drawings to help with business decisions
  • identifying and correcting errors on maps and design drawings

Working environment

You could work in an office or visit sites.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
  • the armed forces

You could do a degree in:

  • geography
  • surveying and mapping
  • geographic information science
  • Earth sciences
  • computer science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
For more information

You can take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for the job, which may help when applying for a trainee position. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Surveying
  • Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians
  • T level in Design, Surveying and Planning

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information

You can work towards this role through a geospatial survey technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
For more information
Other routes

You can apply for a graduate training scheme with a geospatial data company if you have a degree.

You can also work towards this role through the armed forces. The Royal Air Force and the British army offer training to become an air cartographer and geographic technician.

More information

Career tips

Many geospatial technicians use specialist software. You could build up your skills and knowledge through free online learning resources.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association for Geographic Information for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in geographical information systems from:Royal Geographic Society; Geospatial World; ESRI Careers; Ordnance Survey

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You can specialise in areas like agriculture, mining, healthcare, urban planning or military intelligence.

After 3 to 5 years' experience, you can become a GIS analyst or geographic information officer.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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