GIS Certification 2018 Survey
GIS Certifications are becoming more prevalent and robust. One example of this was the addition of an exam for the GISP certification. Esri continues to develop its technical certifications and there is work being done to develop certifications for open source solutions such as QGIS and others. The GEOINT community is also working toward developing a certification of its own as well. This also continues to build on the older certifications offered by ASPRS, IAAO and others. So it would seem that certification is becoming accepted by the industry more and more each year. But is that indeed the case?

For the last five years, we have conducted this survey in an attempt to get some idea of how widely GIS certifications have been adopted and promoted within organizations that use GIS technology or services at any level. We hope to find out if the growing number of certifications is indeed an indication of growing acceptance within the industry. We also hope to determine which certifications if any have the greatest value.

If you would like to see a summary of last years survey which was presented at the GIS Pro conference in Jacksonville Florida last year go to

One consistent trend we have noted is the confusion between Certification, a Certificate and a License. These are three different things. Having a certificate or a degree does not mean you are certified. It means you have completed a specific course of study. A license (such as a Professional Surveyor or Engineer) is governed and granted by a governmental body designated by law to do so. The law dictates the requirements for getting and maintaining the license and what is considered the professional practice which requires the license. Certification is a voluntary credential that is managed by a non-governmental body. It indicates some level of knowledge and experience. Typically, there are two types, Professional (GISP, CMS, CP) and Technical (Esri Desktop Associate, Microsoft Certified Professional).

Please take the time to respond if you use GIS (even if it is not your primary job), oversee GIS staff hiring, help in the selection process of GIS Vendors or write GIS policies for your organization. The results will be presented in a presentation at the GIS Pro Conference in Palm Springs California as part of the dedicated Preparing for the GISP Certification workshop ( as well as other conferences.

What type organization do you work for? *
Is using or working with GIS your primary job? *
How many years of GIS experience do you have? *
Do you believe certification benefits GIS Professionals and users? *
Why or Why not
Your answer
Which type of certification do you believe is most valuable?
Please choose the type you believe to be most valuable to you and your career.
Does your organization require a GIS Certification (GISP, CMP, Esri, or other) for any job positions? *
If your organization does require certification for a GIS related job position or title, what Certifications are required and for what positions or titles are they required?
Your answer
Do you have a GIS related certification and if so which one? Choose all that apply
Please remember the difference between Certification, a Certificate or Degree and a License.
Does your organization offer a bonus or pay raise if you get a GIS Certification? *
When hiring new GIS staff, does your organization consider having a GIS related certification as a plus over those that don't? *
When hiring new GIS staff, does your organization pay a higher salary for those with a GIS related certification? *
When selecting vendors, does your organization require GIS certifications for teams or companies responding to RFPs for GIS services? *
Does your organization encourage GIS Certified staff be included in teams for GIS services if they are not required? *
Do you give extra points or considerations to vendors that do have certified members on the team over those that don't.
Which of the following GIS related certifications do you believe has the most value? *
Do you think the exam adds value and credibility to the GISP certification? *
Do you think the accreditation of the GISP or other certifications by ISO, ANSI or other accreditation body will add value and credibility to the GISP certification? *
In what country are you located? *
If in the United States, what State or Territory are you in?
Do you have any other comments or concerns that you would like to share?
Your answer
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