How to become a Cartographic Technician

Cartographic Technician

Cartographic technicians assist cartographers with the analysis of field survey and land management data, aerial photographs and other geographic information sources to prepare maps, plans, charts and diagrams.

Personal requirements for a Cartographic Technician

  • Graphic skills, with an interest in drawing and design
  • Aptitude for working with computers
  • Able to work neatly and accurately
  • Normal colour vision.

Education & Training for a Cartographic Technician

To become a cartographic technician, you usually have to complete a VET qualification in surveying and spatial information services, spatial information services or surveying. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

Duties & Tasks of a Cartographic Technician

Cartographic technicians:

  • Fit data into required mapping formats, using a variety of methods
  • Prepare, edit and revise plans, maps, charts and other drawings, manually or on computers
  • Prepare finished material for reproduction and publication.


  • Prepares, edits and revises maps, charts and drawings.
  • Assists construction managers, architects and surveyors in planning and organisation.
  • Collects data using surveying instruments and photogrammetric equipment.
  • Interprets plans, regulations and codes of practice.
  • Performs routine computations and plotting preliminary data.
  • Prepares preliminary sketches, working drawings and specifications.

Employment Opportunities for a Cartographic Technician

Cartographic technicians may specialise in topographic maps, which display natural features and relief of land; cadastral maps, which show boundaries of owned land and properties; or thematic maps relating to geographic features.Opportunities exist for graduates to work in both public and private sectors. Employers include mapping and geographic information agencies; mineral exploration, mining, planning and development companies; and city, town and shire councils. Cartographic technicians usually work as part of a team with other professionals and associates.Some cartographic technicians upgrade their qualifications by completing a degree to become cartographers. There is an increasing trend for cartographic technicians to be self-employed contractors.

  • Average age
    Average age
    40 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    23% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    42 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    High skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    80% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,200 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 2.2%
    NSW: 35.3%
    NT: 1.5%
    QLD: 23.8%
    SA: 6.2%
    TAS: 2.0%
    VIC: 18.4%
    WA: 10.5%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 1.2%
    20-24: 8.7%
    25-34: 28.6%
    35-44: 22.7%
    45-54: 19.8%
    55-59: 8.8%
    60-64: 7.5%
    65 and Over: 2.8%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 29.7%
    Bachelor degree: 19.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 21.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 5.1%
    Year 10 and below: 3.5%
    Year 11: 2.7%
    Year 12: 18.2%
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