There are currently an estimated 12,600 cartographers in the United States. The cartographer job market is expected to grow by 19.0% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are cartographers?

CareerExplorer rates cartographers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 6,500 cartographers. That number is based on 2,400 additional cartographers, and the retirement of 4,100 existing cartographers.

Are cartographers in demand?

Significant growth is projected in this occupation through 2022, but because of its small size a relatively small number of new jobs will be created. Increasing use of maps for national security and government planning, as well as the growing number of mobile and GPS (global positioning system) map products should create demand and fuel employment in the field. While approximately seventy percent of working cartographers are employed in the architectural, engineering, urban planning, and related services industries, government agencies also hire these professionals. Opportunities typically exist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Geodetic Survey, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Environmental organizations and construction, mining, and utility companies may also seek the expertise of cartographers. Aspiring cartographers will need a bachelor’s degree in cartography, surveying, computer science, geography, physical science, forestry, or a related discipline. Those with knowledge of geospatial visualization, GIS (geographic information system) project management, principles of remote sensing, biogeography, and wilderness techniques will significantly increase their job prospects. Some U.S. states require cartographers to obtain licensing as surveyors through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. To further enhance their employability, cartographers may seek voluntary certification from trade organizations such as the National Society of Professional Surveyors and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

What’s the supply of cartographers?

The cartographer industry is concentrated in Texas, California, Colorado

Cartographer job market by state

State Name Employed Cartographers
Texas 1,540
California 1,310
Colorado 870
North Carolina 570
Florida 460
Virginia 460
Maryland 440
Oregon 410
Washington 380
South Carolina 320
Arizona 290
Wisconsin 250
Minnesota 240
Illinois 200
Idaho 170
Alabama 170
Missouri 170
New Jersey 170
Tennessee 170
Kansas 160
Alaska 150
Pennsylvania 150
New York 150
Kentucky 140
Utah 130
Georgia 130
South Dakota 120
Nevada 120
Oklahoma 120
New Hampshire 110
Massachusetts 100
Wyoming 100
Louisiana 90
Ohio 90
Montana 80
Connecticut 70
Arkansas 70
Nebraska 70
Vermont 60
New Mexico 60
Maine 60
Hawaii 50
West Virginia 40
North Dakota 30