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Become A Senior GIS Analyst

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Working As A Senior GIS Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
Show Salaries
$52,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$131,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Aegion
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
District of Columbia
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Senior GIS Analyst make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior GIS Analyst in the United States is $83,446 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $131,000.

Real Senior GIS Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior GIS Analyst Hunt Consolidated, Inc. Dallas, TX Oct 15, 2015 $120,000 -
$130,000
SR. GIS Support Analyst Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Laurel, MD Apr 15, 2015 $106,787 -
$120,000
Senior GIS Analyst/Dba Harmonia Holdings Group LLC Kansas City, MO May 15, 2014 $106,250 -
$125,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Dec 09, 2016 $106,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Dec 17, 2016 $101,810
Senior GIS Analyst Aegion Corporation Houston, TX Jan 03, 2016 $100,000 -
$120,000
SR. GIS Analyst Vnuit LLC Sacramento, CA Sep 01, 2015 $100,000
Senior GIS Analyst Telenav, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 13, 2013 $100,000 -
$110,000
SR. GIS Systems Analyst Tritech Software Systems San Diego, CA Nov 23, 2016 $98,318
Senior GIS Support Analyst Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Laurel, MD Nov 07, 2009 $98,217
GIS Analyst SR. Wm Logistics, LLC Magnolia, TX May 05, 2014 $96,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Dec 19, 2014 $90,875
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Jan 06, 2016 $90,000
Senior Analyst, GIS Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Boston, MA Jan 08, 2016 $90,000 -
$110,000
Senior GIS Analyst Cardno TEC, Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 20, 2016 $90,000
SR. GIS Analyst Cardno TEC, Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 11, 2014 $90,000
SR. GIS Analyst Cardno TEC, Inc. Urban Honolulu, HI Aug 20, 2014 $90,000
Senior GIS Programmer Analyst Nam Technologies, Inc. Cumming, GA Dec 31, 2014 $90,000
Senior GIS Analyst Wm Logistics, L.L.C. Magnolia, TX Sep 11, 2015 $88,400
Senior GIS Analyst Timmons Group Richmond, VA Feb 11, 2015 $85,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Sep 21, 2015 $80,000
Senior GIS Analyst/Dba Harmonia Holdings Group LLC Kansas City, MO Mar 10, 2015 $80,000 -
$95,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Jan 10, 2015 $79,934 -
$95,000
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Jan 29, 2016 $79,934 -
$80,000
Senior GIS Programmer/Analyst Pace Arlington Heights, IL Jan 03, 2011 $79,269
GIS Senior Analyst Whirlpool Corporation Fort Smith, AR Sep 29, 2012 $76,383

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Top Skills for A Senior GIS Analyst

  1. Arcgis
  2. Database
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted Project Leader in training agency employees on ArcGIS 9.1 version of our customized enterprise GIS application.
  • Maintained multiple database instances for quality assurance, production, training, and development environments including database backup/restore tasks.
  • Receive and implement oblique images of transmission structures in to a transmission GIS web application.
  • Compiled features and performed quality reviews/assurance for RTCA DO-272B commercial airfield production using BAE SocetSet version 5.6.0 and ESRI ArcMap 10.0.
  • Digitized paper maps, administered spatial Database and performed GIS Vector and raster modeling and analysis.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior GIS Analysts

  1. Minnesota
  2. New Jersey
  3. Virginia
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Colorado
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Delaware
  8. New York
  9. Connecticut
  10. Texas
  • (416 jobs)
  • (555 jobs)
  • (1,172 jobs)
  • (372 jobs)
  • (400 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (910 jobs)
  • (225 jobs)
  • (1,421 jobs)

Senior GIS Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

67.6%

Female

21.2%

Unknown

11.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Senior GIS Analyst Education

Schools

Pennsylvania State University

9.6%

Arizona State University

7.4%

Texas A&M University

6.4%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.3%

Texas State University

5.3%

University of Houston

5.3%

University of Phoenix

5.3%

Oklahoma State University

5.3%

Stephen F Austin State University

5.3%

George Mason University

5.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

4.3%

Old Dominion University

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Oklahoma

4.3%

Ball State University

4.3%

Colorado State University

4.3%

University of Denver

4.3%

University of South Florida

3.2%

Northern Arizona University

3.2%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.2%
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Majors

Geography

47.0%

Environmental Science

10.3%

Geology

8.8%

Business

6.3%

Urban Planning

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Information Technology

2.5%

Computer Science

2.2%

Natural Resources Management

2.2%

Information Sciences

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%

Biology

1.9%

Information Systems

1.6%

Management

1.3%

Drafting And Design

1.3%

Architecture

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Civil Engineering

1.3%

Engineering Technology

0.9%

Computer Applications

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.4%

Masters

35.2%

Other

11.2%

Certificate

7.2%

Associate

3.5%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

1.0%
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