Cartographic technicians compile revise edit and digitalize the maps that have been created by a team of cartographers. The United States government is a large employer of cartographic technicians most of whom work for the USGS (the United States Geological Survey). However there are also non-governmental employers of cartographers. Cartographic technicians must possess certain characteristics in order to be successful in this profession.
One such characteristic is the ability to work on tedious tasks. Because cartography involves extracting extremely technical information and using that information to create perfect maps the ability to produce perfect and high-quality work is essential. At a minimum cartographic technicians need one year of post-secondary study that includes coursework in cartography mathematics or a science such as physical geography.
However individuals with a bachelors degree and a major in any one of the abovementioned areas can be hired at a higher pay scale level. Finally individuals with graduate education and considerable experience in areas such as cartographic research drafting or digitizing can be hired at the highest pay scale level and can move from the cartographic technician level to the level of an official cartographer.
The government considers superior academic achievement an important factor in hiring decisions and job scale. Payscale.com reports that cartographic technician salaries range from $38000 to $58000 per year.