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Entry-Level Remote Sensing or GIS pay scale?

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#1
GeographyNerd

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Not sure what section I should post this in. 

 

I am looking for a GIS job and have a potential lead. The job is in the Las Vegas area. It would be doing work primarily in remote sensing, and some GIS too. The potential employer has asked what my pay requirements are, but I am not sure what I should say. Looking at the public sector pay scale for the area, it is very good.About the same as Los Angeles. I see public sector entry level jobs generally starting around 50,000 to as high as 62,000. The lowest paying ones would be around 45,000. Of course these all have excellent benefits. 

 

Should I be asking for the same pay? Should I expect to make more or less in the private sector? There currently are not many private sector jobs listed for the state of Nevada, and they generally never say what the pay is. 

 

 

My qualifications are:

 

MS in GIS

BA in Physical Geography

GIS certificate (24 units of GIS/Remote Sensing coursework)

2 months as a GIS intern

 

Previous career as a commercial plumber

Journey-Level plumber license

c-36 plumbing contractor license

Supervise up to 10 employees etc. 

 

 



#2
James Hines

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For starters it would be wise to do the research for yourself.  I am not going to be your babysitter and do the research for you so for starters I will post this one link and only link: http://www.payscale....d_States/Salary.  The rest is up to you. Now you need to do a bit more digging as well into the stability of the field, as well as make strong considerations and preparations to return to your previous job as a plumber.  


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#3
GeographyNerd

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For starters it would be wise to do the research for yourself.  I am not going to be your babysitter and do the research for you so for starters I will post this one link and only link: http://www.payscale....d_States/Salary.  The rest is up to you. Now you need to do a bit more digging as well into the stability of the field, as well as make strong considerations and preparations to return to your previous job as a plumber.  

 

You think I have not done any research on the topic? I have only been investigating it for the last 5 years while I been in school!  GIS pay varies dramatically by region. For example, entry level is about 30,000 a year in Boise, ID.  Another problem is that many local government either have no GIS job category or that category is really a low pay scale. This means that many GIS professional working in local government are officially classified under IT or Buisness Analyst. This also means that it is often hard to determine what people working in the field make. In CA for example, you can see the pay of every single state government employee. Clearly, there are more people in GIS than a search for the title returns on transparent California. This is because they are under IT. Infact, you can find my professor who is head of the GIS department at a local city, but he is listed as IT manager. He makes 130,000, but you can't find that out by searching for GIS. Their GIS tops out at 70,000, so they had to move him to the IT classification.

 

The idea that plumbing is somehow more stable and I should return to that is both wrong, negative, and rude. Too much maple syrup last night? I am a new construction plumber. During the recession I did not work a single day in 2 years. How is that stable? That is why I went into GIS. My construction background makes me the ideal candidate for any sort of GIS involving utilities and infrastructure. Aside from that I with my physical geography degree I could also work as an environmental scientist, water conservation/resource specialist, and so on. In fact I have standing job offer to start a GIS department for a small city and assist the environmental scientist too. I just do not want to relocate to where the job is, but it would be better than plumbing. 

 

The website linked to says 18 dollars an hour for a GIS tech. Nobody I know from undergrad is only making 18 an hour. Everyone is making about 45,000  or more. Some who went into local government are making 52,000 or more to start. They do not even have a MS. My friend started at 48,000. Now with three years experience makes 70,000 + . However, most these people are in public sector and all are in CA. Heck, there was a job posted last week for an oil company in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma, entry level no experience 75,000 with full benefits. 



#4
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I don't have much input to offer, except see if you can dig up some friendly people in the area that you could possibly contact for advice... ? (I guess this post was such a reaching out...) - maybe try #gistribe on twitter?

 

Nerd, I agree with you that James' post was rude and did not add any input, it looks like you have been doing quite some research...

 

Good luck!


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#5
Erin John LeFevre

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Hi,

I would avoid specific salary requirements and politely state that your willing to consider a salary that's in line with others in the organization doing similar work.  You don't want to underestimate or over-estimate your value and you certainly don't want to lose the job before it's offered.  I recommend focusing on whether or not the position is interesting and if it's an organization that you want to represent for a chunk of your life. Give them an opportunity to make you an offer and then decide.

 

Erin


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#6
Melita Kennedy

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While the company might not be there, you might want to look at glassdoor which has company reviews, and I think can include some salary information? Maybe not. I thought that there have been industry salary surveys, but I don't remember seeing a recent one.



#7
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I don't have much input to offer, except see if you can dig up some friendly people in the area that you could possibly contact for advice... ? (I guess this post was such a reaching out...) - maybe try #gistribe on twitter?

 

Nerd, I agree with you that James' post was rude and did not add any input, it looks like you have been doing quite some research...

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

For starters it would be wise to do the research for yourself.  I am not going to be your babysitter and do the research for you so for starters I will post this one link and only link: http://www.payscale....d_States/Salary.  The rest is up to you. Now you need to do a bit more digging as well into the stability of the field, as well as make strong considerations and preparations to return to your previous job as a plumber.  

 

You think I have not done any research on the topic? I have only been investigating it for the last 5 years while I been in school!  GIS pay varies dramatically by region. For example, entry level is about 30,000 a year in Boise, ID.  Another problem is that many local government either have no GIS job category or that category is really a low pay scale. This means that many GIS professional working in local government are officially classified under IT or Buisness Analyst. This also means that it is often hard to determine what people working in the field make. In CA for example, you can see the pay of every single state government employee. Clearly, there are more people in GIS than a search for the title returns on transparent California. This is because they are under IT. Infact, you can find my professor who is head of the GIS department at a local city, but he is listed as IT manager. He makes 130,000, but you can't find that out by searching for GIS. Their GIS tops out at 70,000, so they had to move him to the IT classification.

 

The idea that plumbing is somehow more stable and I should return to that is both wrong, negative, and rude. Too much maple syrup last night? I am a new construction plumber. During the recession I did not work a single day in 2 years. How is that stable? That is why I went into GIS. My construction background makes me the ideal candidate for any sort of GIS involving utilities and infrastructure. Aside from that I with my physical geography degree I could also work as an environmental scientist, water conservation/resource specialist, and so on. In fact I have standing job offer to start a GIS department for a small city and assist the environmental scientist too. I just do not want to relocate to where the job is, but it would be better than plumbing. 

 

The website linked to says 18 dollars an hour for a GIS tech. Nobody I know from undergrad is only making 18 an hour. Everyone is making about 45,000  or more. Some who went into local government are making 52,000 or more to start. They do not even have a MS. My friend started at 48,000. Now with three years experience makes 70,000 + . However, most these people are in public sector and all are in CA. Heck, there was a job posted last week for an oil company in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma, entry level no experience 75,000 with full benefits. 

 

True, Hines comments were not so polite but I had an opportunity of developing a lead with Hines, long time back, on a remote assignment though it did not materialize anyway. He is an effable and reasonable  person.






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