Geospatial Apprenticeships: Mapping Your Future

Written by Calvin Bowers

The term geospatial refers to the world (geo) and the space therein (spatial), and this largely explains what it is that the geospatial apprenticeships entail. They primarily involve the ability to map the world around us, and the data collected is then used in a number of different ways, for example, in GPS and mapping software that is in everyday use. 

There are various measuring tools available to assist in the creation of the kind of mapping that you will be doing, and this is one of the proficiencies that you will be developing, the use of the relevant tools and computer models. 

There are many reasons to start an apprenticeship, and the skills that you will develop in geospatial apprenticeships will put you at the forefront of technological changes in the years to come. This will afford some lucrative opportunities, and your skills will be in demand as we rely ever more heavily on geospatial software and all of the varied integrations that it allows for.  

Geospatial Apprenticeships – What is Available? 

There are two different geospatial apprenticeship standards, and these are at varying levels of educational attainment, which means one will be easier to get accepted into than the other, based on how you have previously done in terms of grades.

Geospatial Survey Technician

When you start a geospatial survey technician apprenticeship, you will be responsible for the collection of geographical data that will be used in a variety of ways to map the world around us. You will have to familiarise yourself with many different types of technological equipment in order to do this, including building information modelling and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 

You will be required to capture accurate measurements that can be incorporated successfully into larger projects and be able to assert with a high degree of confidence that they are correct. It is essential that measurements are always rigorous and accurate as they will be fed into numerous other calculations. Ensuring the accuracy of your data in such circumstances is vital for the accuracy of global GPS.

When the apprenticeship standard has been successfully completed, the applicant will be able to secure their entry into the two professional bodies: the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. (CICES). 

There are different types of apprenticeships which correspond to levels of academic achievement. The Geospatial Survey Technician apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced apprenticeship and should take around 24 months, not including the End Point Assessment

Geospatial Mapping and Science Specialist (Degree)

The geospatial mapping and science specialist apprenticeship is a Level 6 apprenticeship that will allow the apprentice to attain a degree-level qualification at the end of it. The apprenticeship itself will take around 60 months to complete. The chance to earn while you learn rather than pay tuition fees for an undergraduate degree-level qualification from a university renders this a desirable option for many. 

Taking a degree-level apprenticeship is a way that people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds can achieve the same level of academic success as those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds without having to incur a massive level of debt to do so. The huge cost of tuition fees at many institutions can be very offputting to those who would otherwise wish to pursue an undergraduate-level degree after school, and this may help to level the playing field somewhat.  

The Geospatial Mapping and Science Specialist apprenticeship will equip you with the skills and techniques to help to provide up-to-date maps of the country’s rural areas, towns and cities. Being able to calculate the heights of buildings and hills makes 3D mapping much more accurate and enables better GPS applications to be created to meet the needs of the public, industry and the military. 

There are many real-world applications for the kind of skills that are developed in this apprenticeship, including planning public infrastructure works such as bridges, roads and tunnels. Mapping underground utilities is also something that is in much demand as often, when infrastructure was first put in, there was poor record-keeping, and utility companies lost track of which cables and pipes were installed in which location. 

This is where someone with these skills can come in and find the long-lost infrastructure information and create an up-to-date mapping solution that shows both above-ground and below-ground features.

What Kind of Companies Will I Work With?

Many companies are diversifying into this area, and it may be that you end up working for one of the big utility companies, trying to trace their network of pipes and cables. It is also possible that you will end up working for someone like the Ordnance Survey (OS), which produces topographical maps that provide the backbone of the UK’s mapping, property registration and GPS information. It is also possible that you will work with Local Authorities who are trying to figure out the location of all the hidden utility pipes and cables. 

Apply for Geospatial Apprenticeships Today

There are plentiful opportunities to be had in the fast-paced and exciting Geospatial mapping sector, and these are likely to continue to grow in the years to come while properties develop as there is more and more need to identify which cables and pipes serve each property.  

If you would like to apply for a geospatial apprenticeship, you can do so today by visiting our dedicated apprenticeships job board and searching for a suitable apprenticeship job in your area. 

At Employing an Apprentice we are keen to help you to succeed in your apprenticeship journey, and we have compiled some information to help you to make the best first impression that you can. We know that it can be challenging, but if you would like to find the best apprenticeships, you may want to go to a careers fair and meet some of the exhibiting companies directly. We also have some documents that can help you to be selected for your apprenticeship, including information on how to hone your CV and how to write a better covering letter.

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Last Updated: Tuesday April 30 2024
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