Is becoming a geodesist right for me?

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What do geodesists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are geodesists happy with their careers?
What are geodesists like?

Still unsure if becoming a geodesist is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a geodesist or another similar career!

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How to become a Geodesist

Becoming a geodesist involves a combination of education, training, and practical experience. Here is a guide to help you pursue a career as a geodesist:

  • Bachelor's Degree: Obtain a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as geodesy, geophysics, surveying engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related earth science. Ensure that the program includes coursework in geodetic principles, mathematical modeling, and data analysis.
  • Internships or Entry-Level Positions: Seek internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions related to geodesy, surveying, or GIS to gain hands-on experience in the field.
  • Graduate Education (Optional): While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level positions, pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. in Geodesy or a related field can enhance your knowledge and open doors to advanced research or specialized roles.
  • Develop Technical Skills: Acquire proficiency in the use of geodetic instruments such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers, gravity meters, and other surveying equipment. Familiarize yourself with geospatial software and data analysis tools commonly used in geodesy, such as GIS software, mathematical modeling software, and programming languages like Python or MATLAB.
  • Networking and Professional Development: Become a member of professional organizations related to geodesy, such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) or the International Association of Geodesy (IAG). Attend conferences and workshops to network with professionals in the field.
  • Certification (Optional): While certification is not always mandatory, obtaining relevant certifications can enhance your professional credentials. Consider certifications offered by organizations such as the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) or the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).
  • Job Search: Start applying for geodesist positions in government agencies (e.g., National Geodetic Survey, USGS), research institutions, private companies specializing in surveying or GIS, and engineering firms.
  • Professional Advancement: Consider pursuing advanced degrees or specialization in a specific area of geodesy for career advancement or to specialize in a niche field.

Geodesists may pursue certifications to enhance their professional credentials and demonstrate their expertise. While certification is not always mandatory, it can be beneficial for career advancement and recognition. Here are some relevant certifications for geodesists:

  • Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS): Offered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the CFedS certification is designed for surveyors and other professionals involved in federal land surveying projects. While it is not specific to geodesy, it may be relevant for those working in surveying-related roles.
  • Certified Photogrammetrist (CP): The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) offers the CP certification, which is relevant for professionals involved in photogrammetry, remote sensing, and geospatial technologies.
  • Professional Land Surveyor (PLS): State-specific licensure or certification as a Professional Land Surveyor may be required for individuals engaged in land surveying. This certification is typically granted at the state level and may have different titles depending on the state.
  • GIS Professional (GISP): While not specific to geodesy, the GIS Professional certification is relevant for geospatial professionals, including those involved in geodetic work. It is offered by the GIS Certification Institute and demonstrates proficiency in geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Certified Survey Technician (CST): The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) offers the CST certification at different levels. While not specific to geodesy, it is relevant for those involved in surveying and may be beneficial for career development.
  • Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP): Administered by the GIS Certification Institute, the GISP certification is suitable for professionals in geospatial information systems, including those with a focus on geodesy.
  • Certified Mapping Scientist (CMS): The ASPRS offers the CMS certification, which includes a category for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. It is relevant for professionals engaged in mapping and geospatial technologies.