What If The Fix For the Geospatial Workforce “Crisis” Is…Better Pay?

Brian Timoney contemplates why talented GIS professionals seek employment in other areas, tracing the problem to broad scoped roles and lower pay compared to similar roles in other industries.

Even discounting the vagaries of job titles, the skew in the distribution of GIS Analyst salaries is notable because it implies a stagnant middle grinding away while effectively blocking the ability of new entrants to rapidly ascend the wage scale as you’d find in more “normal” distributions

I have no numbers to back this up, but my gut feeling is that most GIS Analysts work in civil service. Salaries in civil service are tightly regulated; you don’t just negotiate a higher pay unless your department has a role in a higher salary band and you land that job. That might explain why we’re seeing this skew towards lower salaries and the limited upward mobility.

That said, Brian’s point is correct: GIS-specific roles are often too broadly scoped and underpaid.