Remote Sensing Technicians
Remote sensing technicians are employed in the private sector, federal government, and the military. Some examples of companies that employ remote sensing specialists include Motorola Solutions, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Watershed Sciences. There are approximately 64,260 life, physical, and social science technicians, including remote sensing technicians, employed in the United States, according to the Department of Labor. Many work in colleges, universities, and professional schools; federal government; and scientific research and development services. Remote sensing technicians work for federal defense agencies, federal and state planning groups, environmental agencies, land management companies, and transportation agencies, as well as for private companies and consulting groups.
Remote sensing technicians often get their start through an internship or entry-level job. Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs, in which students receive practical training while studying for their degree. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship and job opportunities. Conduct your own job search by contacting companies directly, visiting the career sections of professional associations' Web sites, and also looking at job listings on Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and SimplyHired, among others.
Remote sensing technicians with four or more years of work experience may become senior technicians. They will be responsible for hiring and overseeing the work of technical specialists and handling more complex projects. They advance by getting certification in remote sensing specializations and software programs. They may also advance by going back to school for an advanced degree and teaching in colleges and universities. Experienced remote sensing technicians may get more involved in professional associations, growing their reputation in the field by speaking at conferences and becoming board members.
Tips for Entry
Stay current on remote sensing news and developments by reading publications such as Discover (https://www.discovermagazine.com/tag/remote-sensing), SpaceNews (https://spacenews.com/tag/remote-sensing), and Wired (https://www.wired.com/tag/remote-sensing).
Get a part-time or summer job in a company that offers remote sensing services. Ask your school's career services office for help with the job search.
Learn about remote sensing and its many uses by vising the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/geodesy/remote-sensing.
Join a professional association for access to career-development resources and networking opportunities. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, for example, offers different levels of membership, including student membership benefits, https://www.asprs.org/students/student-membership.