Do you like geography? Do your have good computer skills? Are you good on details? If your answer is yes to all of these questions – you’re a great candidate to join the field of Cartography. Because of the constantly changing landscape and the growing amount of information about the earth available through technological advances, there’s still a need for skilled cartographers. As technology becomes more refined, cartographer careers are rising at rapid speed; it’s a diverse field and opportunities are everywhere.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cartographers held 12,100 jobs in 2012, with employment expected to rise 20 percent from 2012 to 2022. Which means demand is increasing for accurate, available maps, particularly in the digital format. Increasing use of maps in local government planning is also a factor in growth.
What is Cartography?
Cartography is about creating maps. They must perform extensive research, gathering data from surveys, photographs and other sources to accurately chart the physical landscape. Maps can take a variety of forms and be expressed in several mediums, so cartographers must be able to obtain and analyze the latest information as well as utilize current technology for the best possible results. Distance, elevation, population density and demographics are only a few elements that cartographers must account for in their work.
|Required Education*||A.A.S. or BSC|
|Projected Job Growth (2015-2022)||29%*|
|Average Annual Salary (2015)||$62K-$75K*|
Education and training
Several schools offer bachelor’s degree programs in cartography and related fields, and aspiring cartographers are usually required to complete an undergraduate education. However, certificate programs are also available at some schools and take less than one year to complete. There are also graduate-level degree programs in this field.
Cartography is often linked to geography, which is a more common degree leading to this occupation. As a result, the two fields often overlap. In addition to geography, students usually take courses in subjects such as biology, politics, geology and statistics. Cartographers must also possess drawing and drafting skills and should have some experience with computers due to recent technological advances. In a similar vein, they should become familiar with geographic information systems (GIS), which can sometimes constitute their own course.