Remote Sensing Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take classes in mathematics, biology, geography, earth science, and photography. Communications and English classes will help to hone reading and writing skills. Knowledge of computer software programs is essential in the remote sensing technician job so be sure to take computer science classes. Shop classes can also be helpful with learning how to work with machinery and tools.

Postsecondary Education

An associate's degree may be sufficient for some entry-level remote sensing technician jobs. Most remote sensing technicians, however, have a bachelor's degree. Degrees may be in cartography, geography, civil engineering, natural sciences, or other related areas. Course work usually covers math, statistics, physics, chemistry, computer science, as well as English and communications. There are also classes in remote sensing and mapping systems and methods.

Other Education or Training

Remote sensing technicians must maintain their knowledge of current and emerging remote sensing technologies and business practices. They take continuing education courses and attend workshops and conferences offered by professional associations such as the American Association of Geographers, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Ecological Society of America, Geospatial Information and Technology Association, IEEE Computer Society, and SPIE.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Remote sensing technicians may receive voluntary certification to enhance their skills and knowledge and improve their job prospects. The Environmental Systems Research Institute offers certification in the software program ArcGIS, which is used to manage geospatial data. Find information at https://www.esri.com/en-us/home. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing offers certification programs for various remote sensing specializations. Some examples include Certified Photogrammetrist, Certified Remote Sensing Technologist, and Certified GIS/LIS Technologist, among several other certifications. Certification candidates must meet education, work experience, and training requirements and pass a written examination in the specialty area. Find information at https://www.asprs.org/Certification.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Remote sensing technicians usually have two to three years of work experience, including on-the-job training. The job requires strong knowledge of geography, computers and electronics, mathematics, engineering and technology, as well as customer and personal service principles and practices. Technicians are skilled in gathering and organizing information, and analyzing this information in order to identify problems and areas that have potential for problems. They are detail oriented and must have good near vision to look at details up close. The ability to work independently and also collaborate with remote sensing scientists and technical specialists is important in this field.