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Geomatics Engineer

Geomatics engineers gather, model, analyze, and manage information that is identified according to its location (spatially referenced data).

Also Known As

Geodetic Engineer, Geoinformatics Engineer, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Engineer, Geospatial Engineer, Photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Engineer, Professional Engineer, Remote Sensing Engineer, Surveying Engineer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 2131: Civil Engineers

2006 NOC-S

  • C031: Civil Engineers

2011 NOC

  • 2131: Civil engineers

2016 NOC

  • 2131: Civil engineers

2021 NOC

  • 21300: Civil engineers

2023 OaSIS

  • 21300.00: Civil engineers
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geomatics engineers use sensors on the ground, in the ocean, in the air, and on satellites to gather data. They use this data to develop information systems. These systems are suitable for land use planning and landscape analysis. For example, they may acquire and integrate data for:

  • Spatial referencing networks for environmental monitoring
  • Deformation analysis
  • Legal boundary delineation
  • Precise engineering surveys, scientific studies, and topographic mapping
  • Real-time and post-mission data acquisition in support of positioning and navigation
  • Developing and implementing geographic information systems (GIS) and software

Geomatics engineers use measurement-related technologies such as:

  • Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)
  • Inertial navigation systems (INS)
  • Airborne (manned and unmanned) and space-borne photography
  • Ground-based and airborne laser scanning systems (LiDAR)
  • Multispectral data collection and analysis
  • Industrial metrology
  • Computer hardware, software, firmware, and related data-acquisition system interfacing
  • Electronic distance, angle, and height measurement and calibration
  • Digital cartography and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Unmanned vehicles for survey and data collection

The data collected is made available through various means. These can include digital data repositories, conventional maps, GIS, or attributed coordinate lists.

Geomatics engineers may specialize in several different areas. For example:

Geodetic engineers are global surveyors who help to:

  • Establish a global net of reference points by satellite and other extraterrestrial positioning methods
  • Design and develop real-time geospatial information systems
  • Determine the geoid (the basic reference surface for heights) from gravity and satellite altimetric measurements
  • Monitor movement in the earth’s crust and measure variations in the shape and gravity field of the earth
  • Establish positions and water levels on the sea using satellite and radio positioning methods

Land surveyors plan, direct, and carry out legal surveys. They find the location of boundaries, contours, and other natural or human-made features and interpret them into the survey. To learn more, see the Land Surveyor occupational profile.

Navigation and positioning engineers:

  • Develop positioning or navigation algorithms and systems such as GNSS and INS, and use these systems to position, navigate, guide, and control air, land, and sea vehicles
  • Design and write custom software to help various tools and interface systems work together
  • Develop user interfaces for navigation and guidance systems

Photogrammetric and remote sensing engineers:

  • Use photographs taken on the ground, from aircraft, and from space
  • Use other digital remote-sensing techniques such as ground-based or airborne laser scanning systems to collect information about specific features of the earth
  • Direct the overall planning and development of mapping projects
  • Determine aerial photographic and remote sensing requirements
  • Determine the type of acquisition and plotting equipment to be used
  • Determine the aerial photography and remote sensing techniques and computer software needed to meet the required standards of accuracy
  • Create maps based on the information collected

Geographic information systems engineers:

  • Organize different types of position-related information into consistent databases
  • Develop software and analysis tools for using this data in urban planning and management, resource exploration, environmental management, and land use studies
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Geomatics engineers may work in offices and labs. They may also work in the field, often in remote areas. In general, survey technicians do the fieldwork for land surveyors. Experienced engineers tend to spend more time in office settings.

Fieldwork may involve operating off-road vehicles. It can also mean working in severe weather conditions. Engineers may have to lift and carry equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Civil Engineers

2006 NOC: 2131

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in synthesizing information to conduct research in order to determine project requirements, to develop construction specifications and procedures, and to conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies and other investigations


Interest in precision working to conduct technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological and other information; in conducting field services for civil works; and in monitoring air, water and soil quality and developing procedures to clean up contaminated sites


Interest in supervising technicians, technologists and other engineers; and in overseeing land surveys and construction work, in approving survey and civil design work, in evaluating and recommending building and construction materials, in approving designs, calculations and cost estimates, in ensuring that construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations, and in establishing and monitoring construction work schedules

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geomatics engineers need:

  • Math skills
  • The ability to think logically and critically
  • The ability to study spatial problems and measurements
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Speaking and listening skills
  • People skills
  • The ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team

They should enjoy:

  • Being innovative
  • Doing precision work
  • Making decisions
  • Supervising others
  • Having variety in their work

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Civil engineers

2016 NOC: 2131

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 90 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 12, 2021 and May 27, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Evaluate and recommend appropriate building and construction materials
Tasks: Interpret, review and approve survey and civil design work
Tasks: Prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders for construction projects
Tasks: Develop construction specifications and procedures
Tasks: Establish and monitor construction work schedules
Tasks: Confer with clients and other members of the engineering team and conduct research to determine project requirements
Tasks: Conduct field services for civil works
Construction Specialization: Organized
Tasks: Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates
Construction Specialization: Accurate
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

The minimum requirement is a 4-year bachelor’s degree in geomatics engineering.

Geomatics engineers must have an interdisciplinary background in:

  • Statistical analysis
  • Measurement processes
  • Cartography
  • Map projections
  • Information theory
  • Computer science and programming

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 11, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.


Professional engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor, and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes, and structures.


Under Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act [pdf] and Engineering and Geoscience Professions General Regulation [pdf], you must register as a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a Professional Engineer or engage in the practice of engineering.

You do not have to register if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a Professional Engineer or use the word “engineer” in your job title.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Engineer.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Geomatics engineers work for:

  • Geomatics, survey, or mapping firms
  • Positioning and navigation companies
  • Engineering and other high-tech companies
  • Building or defense contractors
  • Petroleum and mining companies
  • Remote sensing companies
  • Geographic information companies and software developers
  • Computer graphics companies
  • Public utilities
  • Municipal, provincial, and federal departments

Experienced geomatics engineers may move up to supervisor or administrator roles. Those with a sound technical background and good management skills have excellent prospects for advancement.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2131: Civil engineers occupational group, 78.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2131: Civil engineers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 250 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 11, 2022

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Civil engineers

2016 NOC: 2131
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2131 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $27.00 $64.79 $40.18 $36.39
Overall $35.21 $81.07 $52.19 $49.12
Top $39.23 $134.90 $72.23 $68.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 11, 2022

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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