Skip to main content
X

Explore your training options in 10 minutes

Best Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Joshua Adegoke - May 25, 2022


The best geographic information systems associate degrees can help you start a career in geographic information systems (GIS), an interesting field with increasing possibilities as the world becomes more connected. If you’re considering getting an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems, this is the article for you.

Now is a great time to explore an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems. In this article, we’ll cover top geographic information systems associate degree programs. We’ll also share insights into geographic information systems associate degree jobs and their salaries.

Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

Get offers and scholarships from top coding schools illustration

Find Your Bootcamp Match

  • Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
  • Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses










By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy , and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.

Some of the best schools to get a geographic information systems associate degree are American River College, Lone Star College, San Diego Mesa College, and Del Mar College. You can earn your Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems from most colleges that offer science-related degrees, and it usually takes two years to complete.

What Schools Offer the Best Geographic Information Systems Associate Degrees?

  • American River College
  • Clark State Community College
  • Del Mar College
  • Lone Star College
  • San Diego Mesa College

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

The admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems are your high school diploma or GED, an official high school transcript, and satisfactory SAT or ACT scores. Some schools might also have prerequisite courses or a minimum GPA requirement.

A GIS associate degree involves a lot of math and computer science courses. An associate degree is an entry-level program that covers introductory material, but you should have some background in math and computer science.

Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED
  • High school transcript
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Background in mathematics and computer science

How to Get a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree

You can get a geographic information systems associate degree by meeting all the graduation requirements for your program, including completing a certain number of credits (usually around 60) and maintaining a minimum GPA (usually around 2.0). In the section below, we’ll address all the graduation requirements you must fulfill to earn your associate degree.

How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

You need 60 credits with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher for an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems. These credits are spread over introductory and elective courses. In addition to these requirements, some schools require students to complete at least one physical education course.

Geographic Information Systems Degree Requirements

  • 60 total approved credits
  • 12 to 30 credits of general education requirements
  • 30 credits of core GIS classes
  • Up to 18 credits of electives

Best Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
American River College Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Clark State Community College Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology Higher Learning Commission
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Del Mar College Associate in Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Itasca Community College Associate of Science in Geography/Geographic Information Systems Higher Learning Commission
Lone Star College Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Roane State Community College Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Saint Paul College Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Science Higher Learning Commission
San Diego Mesa College Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Shasta College Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Best Schools for Geographic Information Systems: Top Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Programs

In the section below, we’ll cover 10 of the best geographic information systems associate degree programs in detail. We’ll explore each school’s accreditation, tuition cost, admission requirements, and graduation rate. We’ll also give a short overview of each academic program.

1

American River College

Sacramento, CA

American River College is a public community college, established in 1955 by the Los Rios Community College District. It offers more than 80 associate degrees and certificates and enrolls around 35,000 full-time and part-time students.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems

The American River College’s Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems offers students the chance to start their careers as GIS specialists, technicians, and analysts. Students take geography, statistics, and history courses to complete this 60-credit program. All students in this program must complete an internship in their final semester.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $48.75/unit (in state); $397.75/unit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 31%

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: Free
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Vaccination records

Applying to American River College

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Submit high school transcripts.
  3. Set up eServices and Los Rios Gmail.
  4. Submit proof of vaccination and residency.

2

Clark State Community College

Springfield, OH

Founded in 1962, Clark State Community College offers more than150 certificate, associate degree, and bachelor's degree programs to over 5,500 students. This small school has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to one, allowing students to earn their degree or certificate with personalized attention.

Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology

The Geospatial Technology program at Clark State College teaches you how to collect and use geospatial data through core courses like cartography, computer-aided design (CAD), mapping, and geo-referencing. After graduation, students will be prepared to transfer to a GIS bachelor’s degree or start working as a GIS technician.

Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $165.33/credit hour (in state); $302.66/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 61 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person or hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 21%

Associate of Applied Science in Geospatial Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT
  • Application Fee: $15
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: ACCUPLACER placement test (if SAT/ACT scores don’t meet minimum)

Applying to Clark State College

  1. Fill out the online application.
  2. Submit your transcripts.
  3. Check your application status.
  4. Apply for financial aid.

3

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

New York City, NY

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), a public community college, was established in 1964. It grants associate degrees in engineering, business, health, and science and also has adult and continuing education programs.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems

This program teaches students how to capture, manage, analyze, and display spatial information using GIS theory and applications. GIS professionals can go on to work in fields like health, urban and regional planning, law enforcement, and conservation as geographers, remote sensing technicians, or urban planners.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $265/credit (NYC residents); $320/credit (in state and out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 27%

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Not required through Spring 2023
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Minimum College Admissions Average of 90 (for BMCC honors program only)

Applying to Borough of Manhattan Community College

  1. Complete your online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Send school transcripts.
  4. Check your application status.

4

Del Mar College

Corpus Christi, TX

Founded in 1935, Del Mar College helps over 25,000 students a year get the education they need for the future they want. It offers certificate and associate degree courses in the sciences, fine arts, business, and occupational and technical areas.

Associate in Applied Science in Geography Information Systems

This 60-credit geography information systems associate degree will equip students with the skills to enter the geospatial technology workforce. After completing courses in GIS, programming, and statistics, students will be prepared for jobs in GIS technology in engineering firms, surveying companies, law enforcement, and wildlife management.

Associate in Applied Science in Geography Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,660/15 semester hours (district residents), $2,410/15 semester hours (in state); $2,965/15 semester hours (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 13%

Associate in Applied Science in Geography Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment (if other SAT/ACT scores below minimum)

Applying to Del Mar College

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Take the TSI Assessment (if required).
  3. Submit proof of vaccinations.
  4. Submit official transcripts.

5

Itasca Community College

Grand Rapids, MN

Itasca Community College is a public community college established in 1922. It offers over 50 programs both in-person and online, including programs like American Indian Studies, Wildland Firefighting, and Natural Resources.

Associate of Science in Geography/Geographic Information Systems

This program will prepare you for the rapidly evolving fields of geography and technology. You will learn about geographical information systems (GIS) and the software necessary for working in this field. This Associate Degree in GIS also focuses on the components of mapping, cartographic analysis, and spatial analysis.

Associate of Science in Geography/Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $192.92/credit (in state); $236.18/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 30%

Associate of Science in Geography/Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT optional
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement test (if required)

Applying to Itasca Community College

  1. Apply online.
  2. Submit your transcripts.
  3. Submit standardized test scores.
  4. Complete your immunization form.
  5. Apply for financial aid.

6

Lone Star College

Houston, TX

Lone Star College was established in 1984 as a part of the Lone Star College System. The school provides over 200 associate degree and certification programs. Lone Star College offers both graduate and undergraduate degree programs to over 85,000 students.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems

This program gives students the skills to research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for social, medical, educational, and design purposes. Students also learn to design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $90/credit hour (in district); $202/credit hour (in state); $257/unit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 12%

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Texas Success Initiative (TSIA2)
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Bacterial meningitis vaccination

Applying to Lone Star College

  1. Apply online through the ApplyTexas system.
  2. Take the TSI placement test.
  3. Submit your high school transcript.
  4. Submit proof of vaccination.
  5. Apply for financial aid.

7

Roane State Community College

Harriman, TN

Established in 1969, Roane State Community College is a public community college that provides its students with transfer and career preparation study options, as well as continuing education and developmental education. It also provides career preparation programs to train students in various fields for their associate degrees or certificates.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems

This Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems prepares students for careers such as GIS analyst or GIS technician. Students will learn geographic fundamentals, GIS database design, demographic analysis, computer programming, and cartographic design. After completing this degree, students can enroll in a GIS bachelor’s degree program at Marshall University.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $214/credit hour (in state); $748/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 63 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 30%

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: ACT with a score of at least 19 in all sections if you are under 21, ACCUPLACER test if you are over 21
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Proof of vaccination for common illnesses

Applying to Roane State Community College

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit your high school transcript.
  4. Submit standardized test scores.
  5. Submit vaccination records.

8

Saint Paul College

Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul College is one of the best community colleges in the US. It offers over 54 associate degree programs, together with over 70 career certificates and diploma programs. If you can’t decide between a college vs a university , you should know that 47 percent of Saint Paul College graduates transferred to a university to complete an upper-level undergraduate degree.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Science

This program teaches students the skills to become GIS professionals in government agencies, non-profit organizations, precision agriculture, and natural resource management who can make better decisions using GIS technology. Courses range from Computer Analysis to Field Data Collection.

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $ 176.69 /credit (in state); $ 276.77 /credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person or hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 31%

Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT
  • Application Fee: $20 (fee waiver available)
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement test if GPA or standardized test scores are not satisfactory

Applying to Saint Paul College

  1. Apply for admission online.
  2. Submit transcripts.
  3. Submit standardized test scores.
  4. Declare your major.
  5. Apply for financial aid.

9

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego, CA

Founded in 1964, San Diego Mesa College is a public community college in the California Community College System. It offers certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in over 50 academic areas. San Diego Mesa College is home to over 30,000 students with a third of all students over 25, making it a great place to go back to college at 40 .

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems

This Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems program prepares students with technological skills to map information that provides insights into political, economic, business, and environmental issues. This growing field offers many opportunities for its students in almost every industry and academic area.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $46/unit (in state); $350/unit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 29%

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement test if graduated high school more than 10 years ago

Applying to San Diego Mesa College

  1. Submit an online application.
  2. Submit your high school transcripts.
  3. Submit California residency information (if CA resident).
  4. Apply for financial aid.

10

Shasta College

Redding, CA

Shasta College was founded in 1948 and is part of the California Community College system.

It offers over 100 degree programs and certificates within its five campus locations. Shasta College offers small class sizes, so students can get individualized instruction, as well as transfer agreements with the University of California system, so students can move on to more advanced degrees after graduation.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems

With a geographic information systems associate degree from Shasta College, you’ll learn how to capture, store, and manipulate geographically referenced information using GIS. Students will take courses in spatial technology, computer-aided design, and database management.

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $46/semester unit (in state); $341/semester unit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Learning Format: In-person or hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 23%

Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement test if GPA in math or English classes unsatisfactory

Applying to Shasta College

  1. Apply to the college throughExploreMyPath
  2. Apply for financial aid
  3. Request official high school transcripts

What Is a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

A geographic information systems associate degree merges geography and computer technology for scientific investigations, resource management, and development planning. GIS technology allows us to compare spatial data to learn more about how different things relate to each other in fields such as urban planning, public health, and water use.

An average Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems takes two years to complete, and most programs require 60 credits. An associate degree is different from a bachelor’s degree in that a bachelor’s degree takes four years, though the content covered in the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program is roughly the same as what is covered in an associate degree program.

How Important Is an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

An Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems is very important because it offers a wide range of foundational skills you need to kick-start your career. From computer-based data collection to the ability to effectively use the latest geospatial technology, students will develop the skills to work in various industries.

What Type of Associate Degree Can You Get in Geographic Information Systems?

The most common types of associate degrees you can get in geographic information systems are the Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Arts. The Associate of Science is the most popular GIS associate degree.

Is It Better to Get an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Geographic Information Systems?

It is better to get an Associate of Science (AS) in Geographic Information Systems because you can use it to transfer to a four-year college and get a bachelor’s degree. An AS serves as a transfer degree because it provides a reliable academic foundation and is widely accepted by most universities as equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.

An AAS in Geographic Information Systems will serve you very well when you look for a technician job since AAS degrees cover more technical skills. Unfortunately, you might not be able to get a transfer for a bachelor’s degree with an AAS because they are usually considered terminal degrees.

What Is the Difference Between a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree and a Geographic Information Systems Certificate?

The main difference between a geographic information systems associate degree and a geographic information systems certificate is that an associate degree is more in depth than a certificate. An associate degree qualifies graduates for GIS technician positions and colleges that offer associate degrees have designed the curriculum to be transferable to four-year degrees.

Many schools structure their certificate programs to be equivalent to the first semester or two of an associate degree, so you may have the option to start a certificate program and continue into a degree. Be careful not to confuse certificate vs certification . A certificate shows you completed an educational course, while a certification shows you passed an exam for a specific type of skill.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of getting an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems is $16,445 per year. This number reflects the total cost of a two-year degree in the US. However, this varies depending on the school, program, and cost of living in your college town, so make sure to factor this into your budget.

Geographic information systems associate degrees are not cheap, but there are steps you can take to lower the cost. Seek out schools with in-state tuition where you can qualify as a resident. You can also apply for federal aid, scholarships, and grants.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

It takes two years on average to meet all program requirements and earn a geographic information systems associate degree. Your university should offer a degree road map to guide your academic planning, but you should also meet with an academic advisor to help you plan out your courses.

To graduate from most geographic information systems associate degree programs, you must complete at least 60 credit hours. Therefore, in order to graduate in two years, you need to complete an average of 15 credits each semester for four semesters. There are accelerated degree programs, in which you can complete your associate degree in about 18 months.

How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Geographic Information System?

It is fairly hard to get an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems as the topics you’ll learn include geography, programming, statistics, and data analysis, all of which are challenging subjects. If you are having trouble with your courses, most schools have great student services with tutoring and other academic support.

Why Should You Get a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

You should get an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems because it will teach you the GIS skills you need to analyze spatial data to make better decisions. Governments, non-profit organizations, and businesses are all looking for candidates with these skills and knowledge. You could also get a job in a high-tech field, like photogrammetry, cartography, and geographic information systems.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Geographic Information Systems?

The courses you need to take in an associate degree program in geographic information systems include courses like Statistics, Programming, Cartography, Geography, and Global Positioning. The section below will introduce you to the essential courses you need to take for a geographic information systems associate degree.

Statistics

Statistics help you extract useful conclusions from data such as spatial trends and patterns. It also helps you summarize data and determine whether different patterns are related or happening due to random chance.

Programming

Computer programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and C++ are essential in this field. They come in handy when developing spatial models and conducting statistical analysis. GIS professionals with Python and other programming language expertise land better positions, earn higher salaries, and are more valuable to employers.

Cartography

This course explores methods of graphical representation of a geographical area, which is usually done on a chart or a map. It also includes the practice of creating and using maps. GIS students will find this course very useful because it teaches how to communicate spatial information effectively.

Geography

This is a major course when completing an associate degree program in GIS. Geography is the study of the physical features on the Earth’s surface, and you have to understand geography because GIS deals with location information.

Global Positioning

This course is essential because it teaches students how to find the exact location of things. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are one of the most powerful modern technologies, and there have been rapid evolutions of GPS applications over the past decade.

Continuing Education Paths for Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Graduates

There are a few continuing education paths for geographic information systems associate degree graduates, including pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, you can then choose to climb up the education ladder by earning a master’s degree and even obtaining a PhD .

[query_class_embed] online-*subject-associate-degrees

What to Look For in the Best Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Programs

There are several things to look for in the best geographic information systems associate degree programs, including cost and accreditation. In the section below, we’ll explain five of the most important factors to consider when deciding on your college degree program.

Accreditation

You should make sure that your school of choice has been accredited by a trusted accrediting body before applying. Accreditation shows that a school provides a high standard of education to its student body. A school that isn’t accredited may offer a lower quality of education, and future employers might not accept a degree from an unaccredited school.

Cost

Whether you want to attend a private university or a public college, your program will likely cost thousands of dollars. It is crucial to get an estimate of the tuition and cost of living in your college town before enrolling to decide whether the total cost is within your budget.

Employment Opportunities

You should research recent graduates’ employment outcomes at each university before you apply. Typically, students who earn a two-year degree in geographic information systems at top universities with distinguished science faculty have better career opportunities.

Specialization/Concentration Options

GIS is an interesting field with multiple applications across geography, geoscience, urban and regional planning, and natural resources. Before applying, make sure your school offers courses in the specialization or concentration you wish to pursue.

Graduation Rate

An institution’s graduation rate is the percentage of students who complete their degrees over a specified timeframe. Analyzing your prospective school’s graduation rate can help you understand how well it supports students through student services to help them reach their academic goals.

What Is the Most Affordable Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

The most affordable geographic information systems associate degree is the Associate of Science in Geographic Information Systems program at San Diego Mesa College. It costs $46 per unit for residents and $198 per unit for non-residents. The cost of tuition alone, without fees, transportation, living expenses, or supplies, will cost you $2,760 if you are a resident and $11,880 if you aren’t a resident.

Salary and Job Outlook for Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Graduates

A woman sitting at a desk with two computer monitors and a laptop
Caption: Prospective students in GIS have a wide variety of career paths available, from jobs in environmental sciences to real estate.

The salary and job outlook for geographic information systems associate degree graduates are pretty high. A geographic information systems associate degree prepares graduates for many different employment opportunities across various industries. In the sections below, we’ll discuss the next steps to take after completing your degree, including the best geographic information systems associate degree jobs.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with a geographic information systems associate degree because the world of GIS is growing. After completing your associate degree, you will have learned the core competencies needed to work in GIS across different industries, opening you up to job opportunities from various career fields.

What’s the Average Geographic Information Systems Associate  Degree Salary?

PayScale estimates that the average salary for a graduate with a geographic information systems associate degree is $59,000 per year . However, this number is likely to vary depending on your work experience and career field. Graduates who choose to upgrade their degree by getting a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD in GIS earn higher wages.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree?

The types of jobs you can get with a geographic information systems associate degree include jobs in urban planning companies, environmental agencies, government agencies, and economic development organizations. In the section below, we’ll highlight some of these jobs.

Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Jobs

  • GIS analyst
  • GIS mapping technician
  • Database administrator
  • GIS technician
  • Information technology specialist

Potential Careers With a Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree

[query_class_embed] how-to-become-a-*profession

How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems?

You can make between $38,500 and $98,860 per year with an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems. The more experience you gain in the field, the higher your earning potential.

If you decide to continue your education with a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD, you will boost your earning potential. The first step to a successful career in geographic information systems is a high-paying, entry-level job. We’ll cover a few options below.

Highest-Paying Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Database Administrator $98,860
GIS Analyst $56,729
GIS Specialist $55,854
GIS Technician $46,244
GIS Mapping Technician $40,695

Best Jobs for Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree Grads

The best jobs for geographic information systems associate degree graduates are GIS manager, GIS analyst, GIS specialist, and GIS mapping technician. The section below will explore these jobs in-depth, focusing on their salaries, job outlooks, and the highest paying states.

1

Database Administrator

Average Salary: $98,860

A considerable part of a GIS career involves working with databases and extensive data sets. Database administrators are responsible for the execution, efficiency, and security of a database. They are also involved in the maintenance, building, and provision of end-user permissions for firms or clients as well as troubleshooting any issues on behalf of the users.

2

GIS Analyst

Average Salary: $56,729

GIS Analysts handle map and spatial analysis and mapping software development. They also design digital maps, check geographic changes, and maintain digital databases that house geospatial information.

3

GIS Specialist

Average Salary: $55,854

Geographic information systems specialists design, develop, and implement systems and databases to access and store geospatial data. They analyze data with mapping software and design digital maps using spatial and non-spatial information. Many GIS specialists are involved in launching mobile and online applications.

4

GIS Technician

Average Salary: $46,244

GIS technicians interpret maps, use digital land data, and manage the information entered in a GIS database. They could also advance into a cartographer position after a few years in the technician role. Their tasks include data modeling, inputting and updating data, analyzing spatial data, and managing geographic data.

5

GIS Mapping Technician

Average Salary: $40,695

GIS mapping technicians gather data and make maps. They specialize in constructing new maps and editing existing ones. They also work with surveyors and cartographers to collect geographic data and survey maps. These technicians use computer-aided design (CAD) along with geo-imaging, graphics, and GPS data.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

[query_class_embed] jobs-for-*subject-majors

Is an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems Worth It?

Yes, an Associate Degree in Geographic Information Systems is worth it. Applying for this degree is the first step toward a field that Statista valued at $1.8 billion in 2022 . If students study hard and sustain a full-time schedule, they should be able to complete their associate degree program in two years.

An associate degree program in GIS is a great foundation for a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems or a similar field. If you spend a few years working at an entry-level position, then continue on to a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be prepared for a great career in GIS.

Additional Reading About Geographic Information Systems

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/information-science-vs-information-technology/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/information-systems/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/information-technology-companies/

Geographic Information Systems Associate Degree FAQ

What is the difference between an Associate of Science and an Associate of Applied Science?

The Associate of Science can be used to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program, while the Associate of Applied Science is considered a terminal degree and will prepare you to start working right after graduation.

Are careers in GIS in high demand?

Yes, careers in GIS are in high demand. This is because geographic information systems is one of the fastest-growing fields in information technology. Many fields rely on GIS skills since they play vital roles in location intelligence and geospatial data.

Are Associate Degrees in Geographic Information Systems available online?

Yes, Associate Degrees in Geographic Information Systems are available online. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities have been able to set up online and hybrid classes for students who are unable to travel to campus to take conventional classes. An online degree is a convenient option for some students.

Can a new graduate get a job in geographic information systems?

Yes, a new graduate can get a job in geographic information systems. There are many entry-level positions you can apply for that require little to no experience. By building your portfolio and enrolling in internship programs, you can improve your chances of getting a job right out of college.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Joshua Adegoke

About the author: Joshua is an expert in project management, copywriting, and ArchiCAD. His experience includes leadership roles and writing technical reports, and he is interested in pursuing UI design. Joshua is working on his Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

Previous Article

Next Article

Skip to main content