GIS Specialist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | August 15, 2023
GIS Specialist Job Description
GIS Specialists are responsible for building and maintaining GIS databases.

GIS Specialist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

This post provides exhaustive information on the job description of a GIS specialist, to help you learn about the work they do.

It provides the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that majorly form the GIS specialist work description in most organizations.

This post also presents the major requirements to meet if you are seeking the GIS specialist role.

Please, continue reading to increase your knowledge of the GIS specialist career:

What Does GIS Specialist Do?

A GIS specialist is responsible for building and maintaining GIS databases and utilizing the GIS software to analyze the spatial and non-spatial information in the databases.

In other words, a GIS specialist refers to one who is professionally responsible for determining variables in a particular or given geographical area by implementing the Geographic Information System techniques.

What is GIS?

GIS, meaning Geographic Information System refers to a computer-based process that is used to collect, manage, analyze, model, and present geographic or spatial data.

GIS software enables the overlaying of maps and datasets and queries them in terms of their spatial relationships to each other.

For example, the GIS software enables a GIS specialist to load different layers for rivers, flood maps, creeks and streams, and land parcels to determine which homeowners to warn in a storm event.

Furthermore, in the process of carrying out his/her duties, a GIS specialist is expected to execute several important tasks daily, such as using various criteria to examine and analyze information, designing databases, connecting GIS with other technologies, and cooperating with clients such as transportation companies or wildlife preservation organizations.

A GIS specialist is also responsible for using the GIS as an analysis tool in various areas which may include health, city, government, urban planning, transportation, business marketing, geology and archaeology.

A GIS specialist is also responsible for performing other daily tasks of inserting various types of data into GIS databases, such as texts or spreadsheet files that contain longitude and latitude coordinates, aerial or satellite imagery, tabular data, and digitizing paper maps or map images manually.

The GIS specialist work description may also entails using desktop GIS to analyze data and create maps for internal purposes, and also participating in the launching and supporting of online and mobile maps for public consumption.

The role of a GIS specialist requires the interested individual to possess and demonstrate certain characteristics such as computer proficiency and profound knowledge in several programming languages like Python or ArcObjects which are also used in desktop mapping in order to automate process, or develop customized tools and workflows.

He/she is also required to possess certain skills such as analytical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills, ability to pay particular attention to details, good time management skills, and several other skills.

In terms of academic qualifications, the position of a GIS specialist requires having a Bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as Computer Science, Geography, or Engineering, or in other related field.

GIS specialist Salary: The average annual salary for GIS specialists that work in architectural, engineering, or any related services is $55,260, while those that work for the state government make approximately $51,910.

GIS Specialist Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Here are major duties, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly make up the GIS specialists job description in most organizations:

  • Supporting in the development and management of GIS applications that are based on growing and improving business demands
  • Overseeing the planning and coordination of GIS activities to meet the outlined goals
  • Developing and managing control quality standards for system application
  • Performing data capture and analysis for GIS product
  • Overseeing data flow, management, and distribution activities that are aimed at supporting GIS
  • Supporting and participating in the designing and development of the geospatial database
  • Maintaining up-to-date and accurate geospatial documentation for reference purposes
  • Staying up to date or abreast with the latest developments in the GIS field
  • Giving support in the development of a work plan for complex projects
  • Efficiently managing geospatial database and developing effective maps and aerial photography.

GIS Specialist Job Description for Resume

If you have worked before as a GIS specialist or are presently working in that position and are writing a new resume, you can make a convincing professional experience section by applying the sample GIS specialist job description provided above.

You can effectively describe the duties you have or are presently carrying out as a GIS specialist in the work or professional experience section of your resume by adopting the duties and responsibilities in the above GIS specialist job description example.

GIS Specialist Requirements – Abilities, Knowledge, and Skills for Career Success

If you are seeking the GIS specialist role, most recruiters will want you to meet the following requirements:

  • High analytical thinking to effectively analyze information and databases
  • Good oral and written communication and interpersonal skills to effectively communicate and work with departmental staff and the management
  • Profound GIS knowledge, as a GIS specialist is expected to work with various GIS tools
  • Ability to pay particular attention to details to work with databases and also analyze information
  • Several years of proven work experience either professionally or through an internship
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a discipline such as Computer Science, Geography, or Engineering.


If you are a recruiter or employer seeking to hire for the GIS specialist role, you can create the perfect description of the role for your organization by applying the job description example above.

You need to provide a detailed description of the available GIS specialist job in your organization to attract the best qualified persons to your offer.

This post is also helpful to individuals interested in the GIS specialist career; they will be able to increase their knowledge of what the role does.