What They Do:
Geographic Resource and Environmental Technologies combine computer technologies, mapping technologies, aerial photography, and satellite imagery with the most current environmental resource management and environmental analysis software. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technicians work with computer drafting, database management, graphic design, and analysis of various geographically significant information resources. GIS Technicians are employed with engineering and design firms, state and federal agencies, environmental firms, parks and recreation departments, municipalities, and local government units. Environmental Technology requirements include a working knowledge of natural systems, as well as related regulations, assessment, planning, restoration, and management, of those systems. Environmental Technicians perform laboratory and field tests to monitor environmental resources and determine the contaminants and sources of pollution. They may collect samples for testing or be involved in abating, controlling, or remediating sources of environmental pollutants.
Who Would Enjoy It:
An individual considering this field should enjoy working with geography based information. They should enjoy computer technologies as well as technologies related to satellite imagery and global positioning systems. The application of this field varies, supporting facets of business applications, natural resource management, health, and many other trending job markets. Environmental Technicians perform much of their work outdoors; sometimes in remote locations. A professional in this field must enjoy a mix of outdoor and office work.
What They Earn:
Starting hourly wages for a GIS Technician range from $9.00 to $19.00 dollars per hour. Students with a two year Associate Degree may earn a starting salary of $30,000 to $35,000 a year. This is an exploding field with many opportunities; salaries will increase depending on experience, level of education, and type of specialization.
How Many Jobs Available:
This is a field with many career options. Job opportunities are available for qualified graduates of Environmental Science Technician training programs and Applied Science Technologies programs who are well trained on equipment used in the industry.
How Much Schooling, Training, or Skill Development:
Individuals can fill positions with only a few computer based classes. However; many employers prefer applicants who have at least two years of specialized training, or an Associate's degree in applied science or a science-related technology. Some Employers may prefer a Bachelor's Degree. Many technical and community colleges offer Associate's degrees in a specific Technologies or a more general education in science, computers and mathematics. A number of 2-year Associate Degree programs are designed to provide an easy transfer/transition into a 4-year college or university, allowing professionals to further supplement their education as job requirements increase.
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