entrepreneur GIS

How to Make Money in GIS

The most obvious, most conventional way of making money in any profession is to get a job in an organization that specializes in your field, reporting to your station every morning and waiting for your boss to sign your pay-check at the end of every month. This article, however, is not a career guide on personal professional development or a how to impress your boss so you don’t get fired. Let’s get it straight. Again, if you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, then you’re also in the wrong place.




In this article we explore the various legitimate and proven ways of making money in GIS, apart from holding a regular office job. Here we go:

  1. Consulting

You can start a profitable GIS consulting business, no matter whether your consulting business will focus on satellite image interpretation, cartography, web-mapping, field data collection or any specific area that you can dream up. However, once you’ve started, you will realize that the most important thing will be how well you market your business. After all, if your consultancy is not getting customers, then you have no business.

You should also keep in mind that selling consulting services isn’t the same as selling ice-cream. You should choose appropriate marketing strategies because you will be selling services to people who may not even know they need those services.

Here is a complete guide on how to grow your consulting business. This ‘growth-hacking’ manual is packed with marketing tricks or ‘growth-hacks’ which you can also employ to create a successful business. Many entrepreneurs have used the step-by-step guide to build multi-million dollar consulting companies.

  1. Training

Almost everybody has some skill or knowledge that can be shared to benefit others. Monetizing the sharing of that skill is business. Now, most people are reluctant to start a business given that 2 out of 3 new businesses fail in their first year. But with the right tools and planning you can actually start a hugely successful GIS training business.

Here are quick points which you should remember to increase your chances of success:

  • Believe in yourself
  • Write down what you want to achieve
  • Determine what you have to do to achieve your goals
  • Decide your business model
  • Decide your niche
  • Create and strengthen your network
  1. Reseller and affiliate programs

If you don’t like selling, don’t start a business. But if you have the ability to invest in sales and you can conceive solid business strategy, then there are numerous opportunities in the GIS industry which you can tap to grow your revenue.




Most leading GIS companies like ESRI and drone and aerial data providers like PrecisionHawk etc. have a reseller program that you can take advantage of to resell products from their portfolio and create huge revenue streams. Collaborating with such renowned companies also provides you with the benefit of association with the most established GIS brands.

See a complete guide on how to start a successful reseller and affiliate business here.

  1. Location based App business

Location based services (LBS) applications is a market niche that has been growing steadily over the years and is not going to slow anytime soon. We are all customers in the location app business. We search and share location data all the time on Facebook, Google+, Whatsapp, Foursquare etc.

It is estimated that by the end of 2017 there will be over 268 billion total app downloads generating over $85billion in revenue. If you haven’t built your own app, it’s time to think about it. The good news is that virtually anybody can build a successful location based app business. You don’t have to come from a GIS background or possess special abilities in programming to start making money with apps.

You might not have the resources required to build an app like Tinder but you can start with small apps like Go Places and still make some good money. Find how you can also build successful revenue generating app like Go Places here.

You don’t have to know how to code to do it!



3 thoughts on “How to Make Money in GIS

  1. This is a very informative piece.
    I have been searching for ways to put my GIS and Remote Sensing Knowledge to use aside from normal office work.
    Thank you for the information it will be very helpful.

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