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Career and Education Opportunities for Cartographers in Greensboro, North Carolina

There are many career and education opportunities for cartographers in the Greensboro, North Carolina area. Currently, 520 people work as cartographers in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 18% to about 610 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for cartographers are expected to grow by about 26.8%. In general, cartographers collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data.

The income of a cartographer is about $21 per hour or $44,090 per year on average in North Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $24 hourly or $51,180 per year on average. Earnings for cartographers are better than earnings in the general category of Surveying in North Carolina and better than general Surveying category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: cartographic editor, map maker, and certified photogrammetrist.

The Greensboro area is home to thirty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Greensboro where you can get a degree as a cartographer. Cartographers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Greensboro include:

  • 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

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.

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: Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina photo by Yassie

Greensboro is situated in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 250,642, which has grown by 11.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Greensboro, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Greensboro are priced at $140,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, seven hundred fifty-three new homes were built in Greensboro, down from 1,516 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Greensboro are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 33.9% of Greensboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Greensboro is 10.5%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Greensboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Muirs Chapel, Mount Tabor Church and Bass Chapel are all churches located in Greensboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Greensboro is home to the Holden Plaza and the English Market as well as Shannon Woods Park and Lake Daniel Park. Shopping centers in the area include Greenbriar Mall, Golden Gate Shopping Center and Carolina Circle Shopping Mall. Visitors to Greensboro can choose from Greensboro Days Inn, Execustay by Marriot and Biltmore Hotel for temporary stays in the area.