CARTOGRAPHERS measure, map, and chart the earth's surface. This includes geographical research, data compilation, and map production. They compile geographic, political, and cultural information and then prepare maps of this information. Cartographers use mathematical formulas to identify, scale, and orient points, elevation, and other features in detail. Cartographers prepare original maps, charts, and drawings in either digital or graphic form, using information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Cartographers use the Global Positioning System (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which are computerized data banks of spatial data.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $60,500 average per year ($29.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (11,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.7% per year)
CARTOGRAPHERS usually have a bachelor's degree in engineering, forestry, geography, geology, drafting, or physical science. It is possible to enter the position of cartographer through previous experience as a photogrammetric or cartographic technician. With the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartographers and other mapping scientists need strong technical skills, and experience with computers. No special licensing or certification is required for cartographers. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing has voluntary certification programs for photogrammetrists and mapping scientists.