What’s it Like Being a GIS Manager?

Are you in an entry-level GIS job and see yourself in a management position someday?  You might be wondering what you need to do to prepare for that opportunity.  How do you make the shift from your current GIS job to a GIS manager?  What does managing a GIS team entail? As one of the GIS sector’s most highly-sought staffing agencies, GeoSearch has helped hundreds find their niche in the geospatial industry and we want to share our insights with you.
 
If you are interested in becoming a GIS manager, keep reading to learn what it’s like to manage a GIS team.

What does a GIS Manager do?
When GIS technicians are recording data, their managers are ensuring the data is accurate.  Many times, data is collected by those in entry-level GIS jobs.  GIS managers coach and train their team in the best practices for extracting the information and structuring the geographic data.  They are also often responsible for spatial analysis and modeling if needed.
 
GIS technicians spend most of their time in an office environment evaluating and analyzing data, developing models while also providing some technical support.  GIS managers focus their time on the business side of the industry while performing both technical and managerial functions related to the implementation, deployment, and use of GIS and related technologies.
 
What technical functions does a GIS Manager perform?
GIS managers perform many technical functions.  They identify, design, and develop GIS applications, strategies, and procedures for integrating GIS programs with existing databases.  They also coordinate system administration, system security, application development, and strategic GIS activities while performing system administration duties regarding operating systems and software issues. 
 
A GIS manager utilizes various equipment, tools, and supplies to define project specifications.  These tools may include ESRI’s ArcGIS tools, and coordinate geometry (COGO).  They may conduct GPS-based field surveys, including processing and integrating the information into the GIS program.
 
What managerial functions does a GIS Manager perform?
GIS managers supervise, direct, and evaluate their staff.  They do this while overseeing work schedules, processing employee concerns, and counseling or disciplining employees as is appropriate.  Additionally, they conduct employee reviews, train and mentor their GIS staff in operations, policies, and procedures while directing the work.
 
They invest their time in everything from business development and public speaking about related projects to overseeing the team and making sure the details of a project are completed according to the plan – on time and on budget.  GIS managers focus on quality control and ensure the success of a project.   This also includes client management, working with sub-contractors and consultants while managing a potentially diverse GIS project portfolio.
 
Call GeoSearch, Inc. today for entry-level GIS jobs!
If you want to join the rapidly expanding geospatial industry and become one of the many successful GIS technicians or managers, GeoSearch, Inc. can help make it happen. As one of the leading staffing services for the geospatial sector, we’ve provided hundreds of prospective employees and companies with permanent or temporary staffing solutions. Contact our team to learn more about our services.