Sunday, August 7, 2011

GIS Salary Surveys - Changes over the Years

Recently I came across a salary survey by Geospatial Training Services, LLC directed towards GIS Professionals. This survey coincides with the URISA(Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) salary survey for 2010-11 for IT and GIS Professionals. Such salary surveys enable the youth to take informed decisions while choosing their career paths since they provide insights into the job market and the growth prospects in specific industry. In the GIS industry, the first salary survey was conducted by URISA in 1998 which was soon followed by the next survey in 2000. Best part of these surveys is instead of concentrating on just U.S. or Canada they seek information from all over the world.

This article concentrates on the results of 2011 salary survey by Geospatial Training Services, LLC and earlier surveys in 2003 and 2007 conducted by URISA.
The 2011 survey involved efforts to collect information from 11000 readers of Geospatial Training's newsletter. Like every salary survey, GIS salary survey collects and provides the following information:
  1. Job title
  2. Gender, Age, experience and qualification
  3. Salary range
  4. Primary GIS platform and programming languages used
  5. Number of work hours
  6. Type of organization
Though clubbing results from different surveys may not be very appropriate, since I am considering same parameters, I am providing the information from URISA's 2003, 2007 and Geospatial Training services 2011 surveys.

Noteworthy facts from the survey include:
  1. Visual Basic has given way to .NET and Python as primary programming languages.
  2. Esri has been the preferred GIS platform ever since the inception of salary survey.
  3. Males are present in major proportion in the GIS industry.
  4. A decent percentage of Master's degree holders are present in the industry.
For detailed results of salary surveys:
  1. URISA 2003 Salary Survey Report [PDF]
  2. Summary of 2007 Salary Survey and detailed report [purchase only]
  3. Full report of 2011 salary survey by Geospatial Training Services [PDF]