Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Slower than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Apply remote sensing principles and methods to analyze data and solve problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning, or homeland security. May develop new sensor systems, analytical techniques, or new applications for existing systems.

Common job titles of Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 35.71% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 25% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.


    Analyze data acquired from aircraft, satellites, or ground-based platforms, using statistical analysis software, image analysis software, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

    Manage or analyze data obtained from remote sensing systems to obtain meaningful results.

    Process aerial or satellite imagery to create products such as land cover maps.

    Attend meetings or seminars or read current literature to maintain knowledge of developments in the field of remote sensing.

    Discuss project goals, equipment requirements, or methodologies with colleagues or team members.

    Compile and format image data to increase its usefulness.

    Design or implement strategies for collection, analysis, or display of geographic data.

    Organize and maintain geospatial data and associated documentation.

    Apply remote sensing data or techniques, such as surface water modeling or dust cloud detection, to address environmental issues.

    Train technicians in the use of remote sensing technology.

    Participate in fieldwork.

    Monitor quality of remote sensing data collection operations to determine if procedural or equipment changes are necessary.

    Collect supporting data, such as climatic or field survey data, to corroborate remote sensing data analyses.

    Prepare or deliver reports or presentations of geospatial project information.

    Integrate other geospatial data sources into projects.

    Develop or build databases for remote sensing or related geospatial project information.

    Use remote sensing data for forest or carbon tracking activities to assess the impact of environmental change.

    Set up or maintain remote sensing data collection systems.

    Recommend new remote sensing hardware or software acquisitions.

    Direct installation or testing of new remote sensing hardware or software.

    Develop new analytical techniques or sensor systems.

    Develop automated routines to correct for the presence of image distorting artifacts, such as ground vegetation.

    Conduct research into the application or enhancement of remote sensing technology.

    Direct all activity associated with implementation, operation, or enhancement of remote sensing hardware or software.


Thermal imaging systems

Synthetic aperture radar SAR

Spectral imaging systems

Spaceborne imaging systems

Personal computers

Multispectral imaging equipment

Mainframe computers

All Tools

Hyperspectral imaging equipment

Doppler Rayleigh laser imaging ranging and detecting LIDAR systems

Desktop computers

Airborne imaging systems



ESRI ArcGIS software


Practical extraction and reporting language Perl

The MathWorks MATLAB



All Technologies


Gamma remote sensing software

Image processing software

Interface definition language IDL

Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE

PCI Geomatics Geomatica



Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

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