Professional Experience Points

The web site will track the accumulated Experience points as the individual fills out the online form.  The job entry for each employer in the online application is a two-step process in which an applicant will first enter the Employer information, then the applicant will add Job Experience for each employer in which they will assign Tier duties for each job.   The Tier assignment will allow the site to calculate and track Experience points accumulated. Only a basic description of the job will be required, as we have extensive experience with various job categories.

The minimum qualification for initial certification is four (4) full years equivalent of professional experience in the geospatial profession.  No exceptions will be made to this requirement.

An individual will need to accrue 60 points in this area to meet the minimum requirement. Therefore, if the applicant has less than four years equivalent of professional experience but meets the 60-point minimum the applicant must wait until the 4-year equivalent requirement is met to be certified. An applicant who has met the 4-year equivalent requirement must still earn the minimum 60 points.


Job experience is the most important factor contributing to an individual’s qualifications as it allows opportunities to become skilled at the application of GIS technology to real world problems. Failures and successes in these contexts provide valuable learning experiences that, in turn, allow growth and expansion of skill sets. In addition, the professional working environment, where one is often working with other GIS professionals who have different skill sets and different experiences, provides opportunities to gain knowledge from one’s peers.   Successes, failures, and access to mentors all form skill development opportunities in the working experience, and the longer one is exposed to these opportunities, the more one is qualified to address new problems.  Therefore, four years of experience is the minimum number of years required for GIS Certification.

Completing the Professional Experience Section

This section will list the jobs and professional responsibilities that the applicant had or currently has. The applicant should list the duration title, duration of employment, and percentage of time spent working in GIS on the on-line form. Only positions that have a GIS focus should be included while unrelated positions should be left off entirely. Point totals are automatically calculated.  If the total amount of experience points meets or surpasses the minimum point total, the applicant has successfully completed this section and may move on to another section.

The only documentation that needs to be provided for this section is the employer letter. Keep your job descriptions simple, as we've seen the full range of jobs that exist in the GIS profession!

Professional Experience Point Schedule

The Experience Points Schedule is broken down into three tiers with one supplemental “bonus” tier:

  • Tier I: Points for years in a GIS position of data analysis, system design, programming, or similar GIS position. (Highest tier)
  • Tier II: Points for years in a GIS position of data compilation, teaching, or similar position.
  • Tier III: Points for years in a GIS User position (an individual who employs the use of GIS technology but not in the capacities identified above).
  • Supervisory Bonus: Points for years in a GIS supervisory or management position (points are additive to the other three positions, i.e., a GIS Manager who also manages the department would receive 25 points + 10 points per year in that position).  To achieve full Supervisory Bonus points, it is necessary that an applicant add a 2nd instance of Employer and dates for which points will be earned, then apply Supervisory Points on a 100% basis.

Examples of what GIS-related skills fall into each tier can be found on the Experience Point ScheduleThis list is not all-inclusive; it is designed to give applicants an idea about what duties fall within each tier.