GIS JOBS and GIS Careers
Western U.S. GIS job links and general gis job related sites
This is the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing of career sites and links for people seeking gis jobs. The page is targeted towards people seeking gis jobs in the Western United States. The major categories and range of links for gis jobs includes environmental links, planning links, transportation gis links, municipality gis employment links, software developer gis links, and other private sector gis companies seeking gis employees.
Related gis jobs links included below are: spatial data professions, CAD, remote sensing and surveying. Also the links can post different classes of gis jobs including full time, part-time, contract, and intern work.
Searching the Web
Here are some pointers on finding hidden gis jobs -
1. When web searching, use the same search phrase in all search engines(Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo and all others). All sort sites way differently, especially Google now, so the listings will be totally different.
2. Use special search patterns to find hidden jobs. An example would be if you are searching city sites, you would use a string that hit a lot of city domains at once. An example: "ca.us gis job August 10 ; would look for all California city/county sites for gis jobs posted in August 2014. Mix it up or try different patterns. Setup daily Google email alerts for job title keywords.
3. Use blog sites and social network sites like FaceBook and Twitter to daily scan for new job posts. Use them to connect, but email to let people know about your qualifications.
4. Use the old bulletin board sites like Craig's List. However, posters on these sites are usually looking for part-time or cut rate(cheap) employees that they don't have to pay a lot for.
5. Email headhunters and give them your name and number. Sometimes they might have something hot that has not been filled yet. This is old school.
6. Go to local Planning and GIS, Arc User Groups and Urisa meetings. This is the first place to look for the coveted city/county/state jobs, since most of the people attending work for municipalities. Jobs and part time help needed are usually announced at the start of meetings before they get posted on their websites. Make the personal contact at the meeting and be that much closer to getting the job.
7. It's not what you know it is who you know. That old saying is 100% true when it comes to GIS jobs! The bottom line is 98% of the effort in finding a good paying gis job is now networking(knowing the right person at the right time). Most gis jobs are now outsourced, so any chance you have is in person now. All of my friends and co-workers have found their stable, better paying, gis/cad/mapping jobs through friends, teachers, family, and insider contacts. Also, a sad fact is, a lot of municipal gis jobs posted online may already have some insider picked and they are only doing interviews to be legal. Call and ask questions about the job position and requirements and poke around with insightful questions. They might have something in the fine print that could weed you out on the interview so read the municipal postings carefully. Ask about the software they use. Some only use the latest ESRI software or other programs. Others may require you to know special programming languages.
8. If you are in school, do tons of city intern work and meet people in the industry. Go to as many GIS conferences and network. I know a LOT of professors that have got students great city jobs, but things are much harder now. Show your work, talk, and see who will be hiring, growing, and what types of jobs will be needed. Make business cards/data sticks with a mini resumes on them and pass them out! Basically keep in touch.If you do the old school way of resume interviewing(cattle call), you most likely will be reviewed against 20-200+ applications!
9. Look at Geography Alumni listings and see if they list where they are now working. Do a geography alumni page search on Google and you will get a ton of hits. Many are FaceBook pages where you can ask people about gis jobs in their sectors and see if they like their jobs and if there are openings coming up. Also, try using Twitter to contact Geography/GIS Alumni.
10. City gis work is now really, really hard to get due to the hammering by congress to cut ALL jobs, the insane sequesters, tea baggers, outsourcing of the private gis jobs the last fifteen+ years and cities cutting back due to near bankruptcies. It now may be better to minor in gis and major in planning or even ES since many government gis departments will most likely be folded into the planning department or other city departments. People with a fancy planning degree will be kept over others with just a gis. You need to think way outside the box to get your foot in the door if you just have a gis degree. I would ask the cities in your local area if you can do part-time work for them or even do some of their gis outsourced contract work. Start small and develop contacts and trusted working relationships. Things like digitizing and data conversion, and street data and parcel updates are always going on. Ask when or if they are going to outsource work and make a low bid on it. As of February 2013, It looks like offshore outsourcing is only stabilizing, but still not so much in the gis sector yet. Also, software is expensive but don't let that stop you if you want to try contract work. You can start with open source gis software that does most of the edits that the high-end gis software packages do. Here is a good package to start with - http://www.qgis.org/
Also, a lot of people are now using the free Census data to start large map server hubs. Sites like City-Data and usnaviguide.com started as hobby sites, and now they make HUGE money off Adsense doing nation wide zip code and other census based info maps. You and your friends could set-up map portal sites like these while in college and develop them into large gis data/outsourcing business sites. Why wait till your out of college. You have to start early since it takes time to build site content and rank in Google. The data is free so the cost is null. Note: You will need a REAL good SEO person to get your pages ranking high in Google. That is the trick. You could have the best map portal on the Planet, but if the pages don't rank on Google's first search page, you won't get business.
11. The best for last. GIS coding for smart phones and tablet apps is still super hot and growing. A ton of money can be made if you know how to code in VB, Objective-C, and the IOS platform. There is just a ton of apps that need to be written for paying customers. And the nice thing is most apps incorporate maps in them.
Note: If you are really disparate for work you could put an ad out for contract work on sites like Elance.com Don't do this unless your willing to work for almost NOTHING. Looking on these contract work sites can be real depressing. Most of these posters are in countries where the exchange rate for the dollar is huge and cost-of-living low, so they can low ball U.S. workers out of work. This is the major problem with outsourcing and current free trade policy. Basically, the rich that outsource get richer and raise their product prices while the U.S. middle class workers get $crewed twice. This is why government jobs are so coveted now. Most government and city gis work is still done in the U.S. and they still pay salaries and benefits but start pay can be low, while the private sector only cares about trimming costs so their executives can get another fat raise. The U.S. government basically needs to get rid of all tax breaks for job outsourcing and start charging inspection tariffs on the food and products coming into the U.S.A . Things are beyond crazy for gis jobs now.
STIMULUS INFRASTRUCTURE GIS JOB LINKS
Stimulus Bill - Download and check new job growth in the Stimulus Bill
Kforce - Check for new Infrastructure Jobs
Stimulus Plan Article - GIS in the economic stimulus plan
EPA Jobs - EPA Recovery Jobs
National Science Foundation - Geosciences (GEO) - Career Opportunities
Census - Good jobs for people starting in GIS
State Transportation Web Sites - Some will be hiring soon with shovel ready projects
Links in GIS related Healthcare - With Obama’s health care passing, more doctors and medical establishments may need to convert over to digital records. Many of these doctors and medical businesses will want to incorporate some forms of gis into their records databases for better tracking of patients and trends. These areas of gis include geocoding, overlays, export to compatible gis/dbase formats; etc. A lot of custom made and installed gis applications and databases will be needed for the medical industry to compile with any new digital standards. Also, vast amounts of analog paper data will need to be OCR converted to digital formats and geocoded. A lot of specialized gis data work/training will be needed in this area. Keep a eye open on the health industry for expanding gis services that professionals will need. May be a good time to get in on the ground floor and start a small gis healthcare related business since healthcare reform passed.