Apply remote sensing technologies to assist scientists in areas such as natural resources, urban planning, or homeland security. May prepare flight plans or sensor configurations for flight trips.
Sample of reported job titles: Digital Cartographic Technician, Geospatial Extractor, Meteorologist Liaison, Research Associate
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Collect geospatial data, using technologies such as aerial photography, light and radio wave detection systems, digital satellites, or thermal energy systems.
- Verify integrity and accuracy of data contained in remote sensing image analysis systems.
- Integrate remotely sensed data with other geospatial data.
- Consult with remote sensing scientists, surveyors, cartographers, or engineers to determine project needs.
- Adjust remotely sensed images for optimum presentation by using software to select image displays, define image set categories, or choose processing routines.
- Manipulate raw data to enhance interpretation, either on the ground or during remote sensing flights.
- Merge scanned images or build photo mosaics of large areas, using image processing software.
- Participate in the planning or development of mapping projects.
- Prepare documentation or presentations, including charts, photos, or graphs.
- Correct raw data for errors due to factors such as skew or atmospheric variation.
- Calibrate data collection equipment.
- Develop or maintain geospatial information databases.
- Monitor raw data quality during collection, and make equipment corrections as necessary.
- Maintain records of survey data.
- Operate airborne remote sensing equipment, such as survey cameras, sensors, or scanners.
- Evaluate remote sensing project requirements to determine the types of equipment or computer software necessary to meet project requirements, such as specific image types or output resolutions.
- Collect verification data on the ground, using equipment such as global positioning receivers, digital cameras, or notebook computers.
- Document methods used and write technical reports containing information collected.
- Develop specialized computer software routines to customize and integrate image analysis.
- Collaborate with agricultural workers to apply remote sensing information to efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts of farming practices.
- Collect remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities involved in assessing the impact of environmental change.
- Provide remote sensing data for use in addressing environmental issues, such as surface water modeling or dust cloud detection.
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- Analytical or scientific software — Calibration software; Opticks; SAS ; The MathWorks MATLAB (see all 19 examples)
- Application server software — GitHub
- Aviation ground support software — ArduPilot Mission Planner
- Charting software — Aeronautical charts
- Cloud-based management software — Splunk Enterprise
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Bentley MicroStation ; Mathsoft Mathcad
- Configuration management software — VMware
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Salesforce software
- Data base management system software — Microsoft SQL Server ; MySQL
- Data base user interface and query software — Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud EC2 ; Amazon Web Services AWS software ; Oracle software ; Structured query language SQL (see all 7 examples)
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Development environment software — Microsoft .NET Framework ; Microsoft Azure ; Microsoft PowerShell ; Microsoft Visual Studio (see all 7 examples)
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — SAP
- Expert system software — Ansible software
- File versioning software — Git
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcCatalog; ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcMap; ESRI ArcView 3D Analyst
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Microsoft Image Composite Editor
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — Applied Imagery Quick Terrain Modeler; BAE Systems SOCET SET; ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE (see all 6 examples)
- Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
- Object or component oriented development software — C# ; Oracle Java ; Perl ; R (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows Server ; Shell script ; UNIX ; UNIX Shell (see all 8 examples)
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Program testing software — Debugging software
- Project management software — Airdata; Atlassian JIRA ; Confluence ; Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — AJAX ; Cascading style sheets CSS ; jQuery ; React (see all 7 examples)
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Collect geographical or geological field data.
- Analyze geological or geographical data.
- Create images or other visual displays.
- Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.
- Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Develop technical or scientific databases.
- Operate laboratory or field equipment.
- Record research or operational data.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Communicate results of environmental research.
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- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 61% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 29% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 59% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 37% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Telephone — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 40% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 34% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Minor results.”
- Letters and Memos — 27% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|9||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: RIC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
Employment data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
Industry data for Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other.
|Median wages (2020)||$25.22 hourly, $52,460 annual|
|Employment (2020)||69,700 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||9,300|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Geophysical Union
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- American Meteorological Society
- American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
- Association of Photogrammetry, Mapping and Geospatial Firms
- International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
- National Weather Association
- United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
- Women and Drones
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