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Career and Education Opportunities for Cartographers in El Monte, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for cartographers in the El Monte, California area. Currently, 1,100 people work as cartographers in California. This is expected to grow 27% to 1,400 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for cartographers are expected to grow by about 26.8%. Cartographers generally collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.

Cartographers earn about $29 hourly or $60,620 yearly on average in California and about $24 per hour or $51,180 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Surveying, people working as cartographers in California earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Surveying nationally. Cartographers work in a variety of jobs, including: stereoplotter operator, mapper, and topographer.

There are 210 schools of higher education in the El Monte area, including one within twenty-five miles of El Monte where you can get a degree to start your career as a cartographer. Given that the most common education level for cartographers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a cartographer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Cartographer

In general, cartographers collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. They also research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, and design purposes.

Cartographers revise existing maps and charts, making all needed corrections and adjustments. They also compile data required for map preparation, including aerial photographs and original maps. Equally important, cartographers have to inspect final compositions to insure completeness and accuracy. They are often called upon to examine and analyze data from ground surveys and satellite images to ready topographic maps, aerial-photograph mosaics, and related charts. They are expected to decide on map content and layout, as well as production specifications such as scale and colors, and direct production to insure that specifications are followed. Finally, cartographers identify and orient geodetic points and other planimetric or topographic features, applying standard mathematical formulas.

Every day, cartographers are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for cartographers to collect data related to specific features of the Earth using aerial photography and other digital remote sensing techniques. They are often called upon to decide on aerial photographic and remote sensing techniques and plotting equipment needed to meet required standards of accuracy. They also delineate aerial photographic detail such as control points and cultural features using precision stereoplotting apparatus or drafting instruments. They are sometimes expected to build and update digital databases. Somewhat less frequently, cartographers are also expected to decide on guidelines that specify which source material is acceptable for use.

Cartographers sometimes are asked to study legal records to determine boundaries of local and international properties. and travel over photographed areas to monitor and verify all relevant features. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on map content and layout, as well as production specifications such as scale and colors, and direct production to insure that specifications are followed.

Like many other jobs, cartographers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in El Monte include:

  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Survey Technician. Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
  • Surveying Technician. Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.
  • Surveyor. Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for engineering, mapmaking, and other purposes.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Cartographer Training

College of the Canyons - Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1899. College of the Canyons is a large college located in Santa Clarita, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,474 students. College of the Canyons has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Photogrammetric Techonologist: This certification is designed for technicians who perform or supervises technical photogrammetric tasks to extract spatial data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Certified Remote Sensing Technologist: This certification is for technicians who perform or supervise tasks to interpret, manipulate, extract, process and convert remotely sensed data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Certified GIS/LIS Technologist: This is certification is for technicians who integrate a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Geographical Information Systems Professional: The GISP certification program was founded on the principle that real-world work experience combined with education and professional association activities could serve as a proxy for a comprehensive exam on the basics of geographic information science and technology (GIS&T).

For more information, see the GIS Certification Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: El Monte, California

El Monte, California
El Monte, California photo by Bobak

El Monte is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 121,791, which has grown by 5.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in El Monte, 150, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in El Monte are valued at $172,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty-three new homes were built in El Monte, down from ninety-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in El Monte are apparel, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 7.1% of El Monte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 2.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in El Monte is 15.5%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of El Monte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Trinity Reformed Church, Immanuel Episcopal Church and El Monte Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church are some of the churches located in El Monte. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

El Monte is home to the El Monte Branch County of Los Angeles Public Library and the Norwood Branch County of Los Angeles Public Library as well as Arceo Park and Pioneer Park. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Plaza Shopping Center and El Monte Shopping Center.