Career in Cartography in India: Admission, Eligibility, Course, Colleges, Job, Scope & Salary

Career in Cartography in India: There is at least one point in everyone’s life where we happened to use a map. The map usually prevents you from getting lost and safely takes you to your destination. A map costs less, and keeping a map with you while travelling is not unusual. But most of us might not have thought about how that piece of paper is made and whose hands are behind it.

Technically, the technology behind this process is referred to as Cartography, and those who practice Cartography are known as Cartographers. Having read so far, you are probably looking to have a career in Cartography. The following article will give you a brief idea about a career in cartography in India and the different cartography jobs available after taking cartography courses.

What is Cartography?

Cartography is the study and practice of making maps, and a Cartographer is the compiler of maps. With the evolution of technology, the latest maps are much more precise than old ones, which were used to draw without actual measurements.

The map is designed from data in spreadsheets, charts, diagrams or old maps in case a modification is needed. Those who are well-creative and love mathematics are best suited for this profession. Cartographers are generally known as the portrayer of the Earth.

Who is a Cartographer?

Cartographers study existing maps, ground data, ground-based photographs, aerial and satellite images, surveys, and text and, after evaluating them carefully, develop an entirely new or updated one. There is some Cartography software like Map Stack, Natural Earth, etc, to make the work of a Cartographer much easier. Hence, professionals will have to maintain proficiency with these tools.

There are two main types of cartographers. One is evaluating data collected from existing maps or pictures taken with GPS or satellites. The other is about designing or visually presenting a new map by collecting data.

Various Cartography Courses in India

To work as a Cartographer or to make a career in Cartography, one can earn a degree in following Cartography courses.

Course NameCourse Duration
Post Graduate Diploma in Geographical Cartography2 years
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Geography3 years
Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Geoinformatics2 years
Certificate Courses in Cartographyfew months to one year

Admission Procedure

The following is the admission procedure for a career in cartography:

  • Candidates should have passed 10+2 with physics, chemistry and maths from recognized boards in India for undergraduate courses.
  • Candidates must score a minimum of 60% aggregate marks
  • Candidates can appear for entrance exams like JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, VITEEE etc.

Eligibility Criteria

The following are the eligibility criteria for a career in cartography:

Qualification10+2 with physics, chemistry and maths from a recognized board in India
Qualifying MarksCandidates must score a minimum of 60% aggregate marks

Top College for Career in Cartography

Some of the best colleges in India for a Career in Cartography:

College NameLocation
Indian Institute of TechnologyMumbai
Osmania University, College of ScienceHyderabad
Andhra University College of Engineering – AutonomousVishakapatnam
Punjab UniversityChandigarh
Government CollegeKerala
Darrang CollegeTezpur
Bharathi Women’s CollegeChennai

Job Opportunities for a Cartographer

Being a cartographer makes it possible to work under government organizations. Since Cartography involves research, one can function as a surveyor to gather data necessary to create the map. The military sector also offers multiple career opportunities for a Cartographer.

Besides these, one can work as a publisher under some publishing agency. Companies like Google, Mapbox, and Nokia employ many Cartographers yearly. It is easier for those with enough experience and skill set to find a job in cartography.

Roles of a Cartographer

The following are the roles of a cartographer:

  • Check the contents of a map for accuracy
  • Design maps, graphics, illustrations and layout
  • Collect the necessary information to form a map
  • Analyze the collected information before proceeding to design the map
  • Familiarize well with mapping tools
  • Be creative and use colours and particular styles to deliver the information better

Skills of a Cartographer

The following are the skills of a cartographer:

  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Patience and stamina
  • Organizational skills
  • Adaptability
  • Time management

Average Salary

The salary for a cartographer mainly depends upon the organisation one is working for. Below, we have compiled some of the average salary for a career in cartography. Let’s take a look.

ParticularsAverage Salary
Starting SalaryINR 15-30K
Experienced SalaryINR 50K

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of the best career options for a Science student?

Check out our list of the top 7 highest paying science careers for inspiration to guide your science career journey.
1. Geoscientists
2. Atmospheric Scientists
3. Biochemists and biophysicists
4. Medical Scientists
5. Hydrologist
6. Materials Scientist
7. Chemist
8. Nuclear Technicians

Is cartography a promising career in India?

There are several opportunities that geology students can choose from. The other options are to make it to organisations such as art galleries, curators, publishing houses, NGOs, archives, and libraries, which can also be found in almost every city in India.

Is being a cartographer stressful?

Cartographers enjoy a low-stress career, designing maps contributing to the political, engineering, educational, cultural, environmental, and marketing industries.

What is the highest salary for a cartographer in India?

Digital Cartographer salary in India ranges between ₹ 1.2 Lakhs to ₹ 4.3 Lakhs with an average annual wage of ₹ 3.2 Lakhs.

What are the skills required for a cartographer?

The following are the skills required for a cartographer:
>Attention to detail
>Critical thinking
>Patience and stamina

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