Cartographers apply scientific, mathematical and cartographic design principles to prepare and revise maps, charts and other forms of cartographic output.
Designs and compiles map manuscripts using digital and graphical source material, including aerial photographs, satellite imagery, survey documents, existing maps and records, reports and statistics.
Advises surveyors and other professionals on the data requirements for map production, and on the aesthetic, technical and economic considerations of scales, details to be illustrated, place names and reproduction techniques.
Supervises and co-ordinates the work of cartographic technicians in the production and reproduction of maps.
Determines the position of points of interest on the earth's surface including marine floors, and prepares the final product data in digital form.
Supervises the preparation of plans, maps, charts and drawings to give pictorial representations and manage automated spatial information systems.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Surveyors and Spatial Scientists, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 74% of people employed as Cartographers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 8 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Cartographers||All Jobs Average|
Around 66% of Cartographers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Cartographers is 49 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 31% of the workforce. This is 17 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Cartographers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||7.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A formal qualification in spatial information services is usually needed to work as a Cartographer. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Cartographers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||14.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.7||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Surveyors and Spatial Scientists who work well in a team, are motivated and organised.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
48%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking to others.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Teaching people how to do something.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
45%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
45%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Using maths to solve problems.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
39%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
66%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
44%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
42%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
34%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
34%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
32%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
28%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
23%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
21%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
18%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
18%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
16%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
12%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Read and understand written information.
Communicate by speaking.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
52%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
50%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
See details that are far away.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
74%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
68%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
62%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
61%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
61%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
60%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
57%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
55%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
55%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
52%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
51%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
51%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
49%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
48%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
48%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
46%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
46%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
40%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
97%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
95%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
93%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
89%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Use electronic mail.
Work to strict deadlines.
83%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
81%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work with people in a group or team.
79%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
75%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
75%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
75%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
74%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
70%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
67%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
63%Automation of tasks
Do tasks that are mostly automated.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-1021.00 - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists.