How to Become a Map Editor

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 a career as a map editor:


• You are interested in geography and mapping

• You pay close attention to detail when working

• You enjoy reviewing maps, aerial photos and surveys

• You are 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 information for this career, such as job description, job duties, 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.




Map Editor 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.



Map Editor 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 Become 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





Map Editor Salary

The salary level of map editors can vary based on their level of education, their level of experience, their level of aptitude, the size and type of their employer, and many other factors.


Map Editor Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Mapping and Related Technologists and Technicians occupational group earn an average of between $23.94 and $36.94 per hour.


Map Editor Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, Canadian workers in the Mapping and Related Technologists and Technicians occupational group earn an average salary of $46,430 per year.


Map Editor Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Cartographers and Photogrammetrists occupational group is $57,440 per year.



Who Hires 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



Map Editor Jobs

Our job board below has "Map Editor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Careers Similar to Map Editor

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: How to Become a Map Editor

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 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 1, 2020.

Architecture & Engineering:Cartographers and Photogrammetrists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved January 1, 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 apply 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!



Becoming a Map Editor: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a map editor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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