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Become A GIS Analyst

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Working As A GIS Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $65,000

    Average Salary

What Does A GIS Analyst Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become A GIS Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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GIS Analyst Career Paths

GIS Analyst
GIS Developer Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Manager
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Program Manager Regional Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Manager Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Information Technology Specialist
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Lead Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Lead Software Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Intelligence Analyst Geospatial Analyst
Lidar Analyst
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Specialist Systems Administrator
Network Manager
6 Yearsyrs
GIS Manager Project Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Manager & Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Software Consultant Database Developer
Senior Database Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Information Technology Specialist Information Systems Analyst
Senior Information Systems Analyst
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Lead Technician
Senior Leader
6 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst
Senior Quality Assurance Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Security Officer Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Property Manager Portfolio Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Technical Account Manager Account Services Manager
Technology Sales And Service Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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GIS Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

69.1%

Female

27.4%

Unknown

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

10.4%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.7%

French

13.9%

German

7.3%

Russian

5.3%

Italian

4.6%

Chinese

4.6%

Portuguese

3.3%

Mandarin

2.6%

Romanian

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Hindi

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Swahili

0.7%

Bambara

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Shona

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%
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GIS Analyst Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

9.3%

Texas State University

8.9%

Clark University

7.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.8%

Arizona State University

6.8%

Florida State University

6.3%

George Mason University

5.1%

University of Denver

5.1%

West Virginia University

4.4%

University of Washington

4.2%

University of Phoenix

4.2%

Northern Illinois University

4.2%

Appalachian State University

3.7%

University of South Florida

3.5%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.5%

University of North Texas

3.5%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.5%

University of Arizona

3.5%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

Stephen F Austin State University

3.3%
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Majors

Geography

54.3%

Environmental Science

10.1%

Geology

7.3%

Business

4.2%

Urban Planning

3.6%

Computer Science

3.1%

Information Sciences

1.8%

Civil Engineering

1.7%

Natural Resources Management

1.5%

Information Technology

1.4%

Information Systems

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.2%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%

Drafting And Design

1.1%

Political Science

1.1%

Anthropology

1.0%

Management

1.0%

Biology

1.0%

Forestry

1.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.8%

Masters

33.8%

Other

9.0%

Certificate

5.7%

Associate

4.0%

Doctorate

2.3%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.0%
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Real GIS Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
GIS Analyst Protege LLC Ashburn, VA Apr 05, 2016 $127,379
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Oct 06, 2016 $117,546
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Oct 25, 2015 $114,515
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Aug 10, 2016 $113,959
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Sep 11, 2015 $110,000
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Dec 21, 2015 $108,009
GIS Analyst Online Image Elk Grove Village, IL Dec 14, 2016 $100,000
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Apr 20, 2016 $98,372
GIS Analyst Online Image San Jose, CA Dec 15, 2016 $95,626
GIS Analyst Online Image San Jose, CA Dec 27, 2016 $95,306
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Dec 12, 2016 $94,000
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Jun 22, 2015 $91,960
Gis-Analyst/Developer Saitech, Corp. Peoria, IL Sep 14, 2015 $72,000
GIS Analyst Vedicsoft Solutions LLC Richmond, VA Apr 28, 2016 $70,762
GIS Analyst W.M. Rice University Houston, TX Jan 07, 2016 $70,000
GIS Analyst Citilabs, Inc. Lafayette, CA Aug 14, 2016 $68,500
GIS Editor/Analyst Proactive Technical Services, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Mar 31, 2015 $68,000
GIS Analyst Online Image San Jose, CA Dec 15, 2016 $66,742
GIS Lead Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Sep 30, 2015 $66,726 -
$107,000
GIS Analyst Online Image San Jose, CA Dec 23, 2016 $66,518
Knowledge Analyst-GIS The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Boston, MA Mar 26, 2016 $60,000 -
$80,000
GIS Analyst/Developer Urban4M LLC Coral Gables, FL Sep 12, 2015 $60,000
GIS Analyst Citilabs, Inc. Lafayette, CA Aug 09, 2015 $59,259
GIS Analyst Fresno County Fire Protection District Sanger, CA Sep 11, 2015 $58,436
GIS Analyst Newfields Government Services, LLC Knoxville, TN Dec 02, 2016 $58,100
Planner/Gis Analyst Onyx of Alexandria, Inc. Alexandria, VA Sep 15, 2016 $56,472
GIS Analyst II/GEO Database Technician II Metropolitan Area Planning Council Boston, MA Mar 11, 2015 $56,445
Watershed Hydrology & GIS Analyst Inwood Consulting Engineers, Inc. Oviedo, FL Sep 08, 2015 $56,326

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A GIS Analyst

Average Yearly Salary
$65,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$43,000
Min 10%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Diamondback Energy
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a GIS Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a GIS Analyst in the United States is $65,976 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a GIS Analyst?

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Top Skills for A GIS Analyst

  1. Database
  2. Arcgis
  3. Geospatial Data
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare Quality Assurance Reports on domestic and international, geographical maps and their related databases.
  • Managed and finessed spatial/tabular data using ArcGIS and Excel to set seamless data migration processes for the NCDB.
  • Collaborated with Oregon counties to develop statewide geospatial data standards.
  • Perform advanced GIS analysis and spatial database management that involves the operation and maintenance of transmission and gathering system pipelines.
  • Conducted field work to collect GPS data for use by environmental engineers in the energy industry or private sector.

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Top 10 Best States for GIS Analysts

  1. Maryland
  2. District of Columbia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Connecticut
  6. Illinois
  7. New York
  8. Washington
  9. Michigan
  10. Virginia
  • (951 jobs)
  • (882 jobs)
  • (820 jobs)
  • (988 jobs)
  • (363 jobs)
  • (1,147 jobs)
  • (1,725 jobs)
  • (575 jobs)
  • (446 jobs)
  • (2,109 jobs)

Top GIS Analyst Employers

Jobs From Top GIS Analyst Employers

GIS Analyst Videos

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Day in the Life: GIS Analyst

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