A keen eye for detail and knowledge on computer imaging are skills needed by photogrammetrists. These professionals have advanced degrees and may additionally be required to obtain specialized certification. This is growing field with room for advancement.
Photogrammetrists, also called remote sensing analysts, use aerial photographs and other images to produce detailed geographical information, such as maps and 3-dimensional computer images. A bachelor's degree is required, and surveying licensure may be required depending upon the state. Many photogrammetrists work for surveying, engineering and architectural firms, where they often start as assistants or technicians before they're promoted.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Surveying licensure required in some states|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||29% for all photogrammetrists and cartographers*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$61,880 for all photogrammetrists and cartographers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Photogrammetrists must accurately and precisely visualize 3-dimensional forms, distances and abstract shapes. A keen eye for detail and mathematical abilities are needed, along with knowledge of geography and advanced 3-dimensional CAD software programs. Additionally, photogrammetrists usually work in teams, requiring strong interpersonal skills.
Historically, individuals became photogrammetrists by working as apprentices after completing high school. Currently, however, most companies require photogrammetrists seeking entry-level positions to hold bachelor's degrees in physical science, engineering, geography, cartography or a related area, according to the BLS. Courses in mathematics, geography, topography, drafting and computer science are especially beneficial to aspiring photogrammetrists. In addition to completing an undergraduate degree program, photogrammetrists can advance in the field by earning professional certification through the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Applicants for the voluntary certification need to document six years of relevant experience, provide references from established photogrammetrists and successfully complete a written exam (www.asprs.org).
In all 50 states, surveyors must be licensed by the state in which they work. Although photogrammetrists aren't technically surveyors, some states require that they become licensed surveyors to obtain and keep jobs. Requirements for a surveying license vary by state, but a growing number of states are requiring a bachelor's degree along with a series of exams and ongoing education. The BLS says that some states issue a license specifically for photogrammetry.
Career and Salary Information
The U.S. Department of Labor's O*Net Online reports that photogrammetrists can expect better than average job growth from 2014-2024, a rate of 14% or higher (www.onetonline.org). The site also reported that the median salary for photogrammetrists was $61,800 in 2015.
With knowledge and education in geographic information systems, technology and photography photogrammetrists wear many hats. Apart from their advanced degree additional education and certification may be required. This is a new and evolving field that is growing.