How to Become a Map Editor

Career Path Guide

If you want to become a map editor, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for this profession:


• You're interested in geography and mapping

• You pay close attention to detail when working

• You enjoy reviewing maps, aerial photos and surveys

• You're self-confident, responsible, accountable and self-motivated


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a map editor. We've also included helpful occupational information for this field, such as a general job description, a list of typical job duties, an overview of salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Map Editor

The job duties of a map editor have a degree of complexity that requires formal education and training in the form of a diploma or an undergraduate degree, typically in a field such as:


• Geography

• Geology

• Geographic Information Systems

• Geomatics


Courses in cartography and the cartographic sciences, as well as courses in support areas such as mathematics, computers, photography and communication will be particularly helpful for a career as a map editor.





General Job Description

Map editors identify and verify information shown on cartographic materials such as aerial photographs that are used to produce maps. They must travel over observed area in order to observe and record all cultural and drainage features that aren’t evident in photographs.



Typical Job Duties

• Verify numbers, names and classes of roads

• Verify location and number of railroads

• Identify streams, rivers, lakes, parks and other manmade or natural geographic features

• Use geometry to determine elevation of trees, building and other natural and manmade features

• Obtain boundary and other relevant information from city, municipal or regional records

• Locate and verify Regional lines and boundaries

• Mark observations on map overlay, using specified symbols

• May use instruments such as stereoscopes to combine the information from two separate aerial maps



Skills and Traits Needed to Work as a Map Editor

In order to become effective in a career as a map editor, you need to posses a certain set of skills and personality traits. These attributes will help you perform you job duties with competence, and maintain a positive attitude towards your work.


These skills and traits are sought out by organizations that employ map editors, and candidates often need to show evidence of them on their resume and during their interview in order to be hired for map editor jobs.


• A keen interest in geography and mapping

• Excellent computer and mathematical skills

• May require advanced skills in AutoCAD Map

• A high level of accuracy and attention to detail when working

• A natural eye for layout and design, good spatial awareness and colour vision

• A systematic approach to work, and attention to set procedures

• The ability to interpret data, graphical representations and symbols

• The ability to work independently

• Strong project management and organizational skills





Typical Salary Level

The actual wages and salaries of map editors can vary greatly, typically depending on the following factors:


• Their level of education and experience

• The amount of responsibility inherent in their job

• The size and type of their employer

• Whether they work part-time or full-time hours

• The structure of their financial benefits package, if they have one

• The region in which they work

• Their salary negotiating abilities

• Many other factors


Map Editor Salaries in Alberta: According to the 2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, the average salary level of Albertans working in the “Mapping Technologist” occupational group is $70,898 per year.


Salaries in British Columbia: According to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), those working in the “Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology” occupational group earn an annual provincial median salary of $72,800.


Salaries in the United States: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the “Cartographers and Photogrammetrists” occupational group is $64,430 per year.



Who Employs Map Editors?

Map editors are employed on a part-time, full-time or contractual basis by a variety of employers, including:


• Commercial map publishers and GIS/geomatics firms

• Navigational software companies

• Engineering and architectural consulting companies

• Environmental consulting companies

• Federal, provincial/state and municipal governments

• Forestry consulting firms

• Marketing, statistical, and census firms

• Oil, gas, mining and other natural resource companies

• Service firms to oil, gas, mining and natural resource companies

• Planning and economic development agencies

• Surveying companies



Current Job Postings

Our job board below has "map editor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia:



Careers Similar to This One

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to "map editor", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Census Geographer

Geomatics Plan Technician

Land Surveyor



References For This Career Guide

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a map editor.


Occupations in Alberta:Mapping Technologist.” (March 16, 2016). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved February 27, 2020.

Architecture and Engineering:Cartographers and Photogrammetrists.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved February 27, 2020.

Explore Careers:Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology.” (March 25, 2019). WorkBC website - Province of British Columbia. Retrieved February 27, 2020.


Please Note: Much of the information for this career guide was gathered from actual job postings, which due to the brief nature of their online presence, are not listed here as sources.



Scholarships for Becoming a Map Editor

Scholarships listed for majors that are relevant to becoming a map editor can be found on our Geography Scholarships and Civil Engineering Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant University Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for working in this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


Top Banner Image: