How to become a geospatial technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
  • the armed forces

University

You could do a degree in:

  • geography
  • surveying and mapping
  • geographic information science
  • Earth sciences
  • computer science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science

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College

You can take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for the job, which may help when applying for a trainee position. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Engineering Surveying
  • Level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering for Technicians
  • T level in Design, Surveying and Planning

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

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Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role through a geospatial survey technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

To get onto an apprenticeship, you'll find it useful to have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths

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Other Routes

You can apply for a graduate training scheme with a geospatial data company if you have a degree.

You can also work towards this role through the armed forces. The Royal Air Force and the British army offer training to become an air cartographer and geographic technician.

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Career tips

Many geospatial technicians use specialist software. You could build up your skills and knowledge through free online learning resources.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association for Geographic Information for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in geographical information systems from:

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

On a typical day you may:

  • add geographic data and satellite imagery to a management system
  • use specialist equipment like advanced GPS, laser scanners and drones
  • gather visual information like aerial photos, geological surveys and satellite images
  • work closely with customers, engineers and project teams
  • provide technical GIS reports or drawings to help with business decisions
  • identify and correct errors on maps and design drawings

Working environment

You could work in an office or visit sites.

Career path and progression

You can specialise in areas like agriculture, mining, healthcare, urban planning or military intelligence.

After 3 to 5 years' experience, you can become a GIS analyst or geographic information officer.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Geospatial Survey Technician

  • Wage: £8,754.00 Annually
  • Location: Chatham

Courses In England

Geography

  • Provider: JOHN TAYLOR HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Burton on Trent

Geography

  • Provider: SIR ROGER MANWOOD'S SCHOOL
  • Start date: 03 September 2021
  • Location: Sandwich

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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