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Top 11 Imagery Analyst Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for imagery analysts, including details on available courses and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for an imagery analyst in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and expertise. A certification shows potential employers that the analyst has completed a rigorous program of study and is qualified to work in the field. It also indicates that the analyst is committed to ongoing professional development and continuing education, which is essential in an ever-evolving industry. Additionally, certifications can give an imagery analyst a competitive edge over other applicants who may not have this type of training or experience.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Imagery Analysts and explains how they can improve an imagery analyst's career prospects.

What are Imagery Analyst Certifications?

Imagery analyst certification is a professional certification program designed to help individuals in the field of imagery analysis. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of imagery analysis and its associated technologies, including remote sensing, photogrammetry, GIS, radar imaging, and other related fields. The certification program also covers topics such as cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), and computer vision.

The certification serves to validate an individual's knowledge and experience in imagery analysis. It is designed to help employers assess potential employees' capabilities in this field. Potential employers may look for certified imagery analysts when hiring for positions that require a deep understanding of image processing techniques and technologies.

For individuals interested in pursuing a career in imagery analysis, the certification can provide them with an additional advantage over those without it. Achieving the certification demonstrates their commitment to learning and mastering the necessary skillset for success in this field. The certified imagery analyst designation can also serve as an extra credential on resumes when applying for job positions or promotions within the field.

Overall, obtaining an imagery analyst certification can be beneficial for anyone looking to pursue a career in this growing field. It will give individuals an edge over those who lack such credentials and provide employers with confidence that they are hiring qualified professionals with the right set of skills necessary to succeed in this role.

Pro Tip: When considering an imagery analyst certification, make sure you research the credentials of the certifying organization. Ensure that the certification is recognized by employers in the field and that it meets the standards of other certifications in the industry. Additionally, consider how long the certification is valid and if there are any renewal requirements.

Related: What does an Imagery Analyst do?

Top 11 Imagery Analyst Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Imagery Analysts today.

1. Certified Imagery Analyst (CIA)

Certified Imagery Analyst (CIA) is a professional certification that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of imagery analysis. The certification is offered by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

To become a Certified Imagery Analyst, an individual must first complete a minimum of 30 hours of approved training in imagery analysis principles and techniques. This training can be completed through online courses, workshops, or seminars. Once the required training has been completed, applicants must pass an examination administered by ASPRS. The exam covers topics such as image interpretation, data collection and analysis techniques, GIS applications, digital image processing, and remote sensing principles.

The cost of obtaining CIA certification varies depending on the type of training taken and the number of exams taken. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000-$2,000 to become certified. It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all requirements necessary for certification.

2. Certified Remote Sensing Professional (CRSP)

Certified Remote Sensing Professional (CRSP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the expertise and knowledge of remote sensing professionals. The CRSP certification is offered by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

The CRSP exam consists of two parts: a written examination and a practical examination. The written exam covers topics such as image processing, data analysis, remote sensing applications, and geospatial technology. The practical exam tests applicants’ ability to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios.

In order to become certified, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of education and experience in remote sensing. Applicants must also pass both the written and practical exams. The entire process typically takes approximately three to six months from start to finish.

The cost of the CRSP certification varies depending on the type of membership you have with ASPRS, but it typically ranges from $200-$400 USD.

3. Certified GIS Professional (GISP)

A Certified GIS Professional (GISP) is a designation that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of professional competence in the field of geographic information systems (GIS). The certification process requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the use and application of GIS technology. In order to become certified, one must pass an examination administered by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI).

The time it takes to get certified as a GISP depends on how much preparation you put into it. Generally, it takes between three months and one year to complete the certification process. During this time, applicants should study for the exam, gather letters of reference from colleagues or employers, and submit an application packet that includes their resume and other supporting documents.

To apply for certification, applicants must first create an account with the GISCI website. Once registered, they can fill out an online application form and submit all necessary documents. After submitting their application packet, applicants will receive notification within two weeks if they are approved or denied for certification. If approved, they will be invited to take the exam at a designated testing center.

The cost of obtaining a GISP certification varies depending on where you live and which version of the exam you choose to take (there are two versions available). Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $200-$400 USD per person.

4. Geospatial Intelligence Certification Program (GICP)

Geospatial Intelligence Certification Program (GICP) is an industry-recognized certification program designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in the geospatial intelligence field. The GICP provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles, technologies, and applications of geospatial intelligence. The program is offered through the American Society for Geospatial Intelligence (ASG), a non-profit professional organization dedicated to advancing the use of geospatial intelligence in public and private sectors.

The GICP consists of four courses: Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence, Principles of Geospatial Analysis, Applications of Geospatial Analysis, and Advanced Topics in Geospatial Analysis. Each course is six weeks long and can be taken online or in person at one of ASG's approved training centers. Upon successful completion of all four courses, participants will receive their GICP certification.

In order to get certified through GICP, applicants must first register with ASG and pay an application fee. After registration is complete, applicants must take all four courses within two years from the date they registered with ASG. Once all four courses are completed successfully, applicants must submit their final project for review by ASG's certification committee. If approved, applicants will receive their GICP certification.

The cost for the GICP program varies depending on whether you choose to take the courses online or in person at one of ASG's approved training centers. Online courses typically cost around $1,500 while in-person classes cost between $2,500-$3,000 per course. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking exams or submitting projects for review by ASG's certification committee.

5. Certified Imagery Interpreter (CII)

Certified Imagery Interpreter (CII) is a certification program developed by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the interpretation of aerial and satellite imagery. CII certification requires applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in image analysis, digital photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and other related disciplines.

The process of becoming a Certified Imagery Interpreter involves passing an examination that covers topics such as image analysis, digital photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS, and other related disciplines. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. After passing the exam, applicants must submit an application packet with supporting documentation such as education transcripts and professional references.

The cost for the CII exam is $250 USD. Once certified, there is an annual fee of $50 USD for recertification every two years.

Overall, it typically takes between one to two months from the time you register for the CII exam until you receive your certification results.

6. Certified Photogrammetric Technician (CPT)

Certified Photogrammetric Technician (CPT) is a professional certification program that recognizes the expertise of individuals in the field of photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is a science that uses photographs to measure and map features on the Earth's surface. The CPT certification is offered by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).

To become a Certified Photogrammetric Technician, an individual must pass an exam administered by ASPRS. The exam covers topics such as aerial photography, digital image processing, photogrammetric mapping, and remote sensing. It consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately two hours to complete.

In order to be eligible for the CPT examination, applicants must have at least two years of experience in photogrammetry or related fields. In addition, they must have completed at least one course in photogrammetry or related fields from an accredited college or university.

The cost of taking the CPT exam varies depending on whether you are an ASPRS member or not. For non-members, the fee is $300; for members it is $250. After passing the exam, there is an annual maintenance fee of $50 for both members and non-members.

Once certified, individuals can use their CPT credentials to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in photogrammetry to potential employers or clients. This can help them advance their careers and increase their earning potential in this field.

7. Digital Earth Professional Certification Program (DEPCP)

The Digital Earth Professional Certification Program (DEPCP) is an initiative of the International Association of Geospatial Professionals (IAGP). It is designed to provide a comprehensive and rigorous professional certification program for individuals working in the field of digital earth. The program is intended to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively practice digital earth science.

The DEPCP consists of two levels: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 is designed for those who are just beginning their careers in digital earth science, while Level 2 is intended for experienced professionals. To achieve either level, applicants must pass a series of exams that cover topics such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), cartography, geospatial analysis, and digital earth applications.

The DEPCP typically takes between one and two years to complete depending on the applicant's experience level. To get started, applicants must first register with IAGP and pay a registration fee. Once registered, applicants will receive access to study materials including textbooks and online resources that will help them prepare for the exams. After passing all required exams, applicants will receive their certification from IAGP along with a certificate of completion.

The cost of the DEPCP varies depending on the applicant's experience level but generally ranges from $500-$1000 USD per exam. Additionally, some organizations may offer discounts or financial assistance to help cover these costs.

8. USGIF GEOINT Professional Certification Program (GPCP)

The USGIF GEOINT Professional Certification Program (GPCP) is a voluntary certification program designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the geospatial intelligence field. It is intended to provide professional recognition for those who have achieved a level of proficiency in this area. The GPCP consists of two levels: GPCP Certified and GPCP Advanced Certified.

To become GPCP Certified, applicants must pass an online exam that covers topics such as geospatial intelligence fundamentals, analysis techniques, and data collection methods. This exam typically takes approximately three hours to complete. Applicants must also submit a resume demonstrating relevant work experience or education in the geospatial intelligence field.

To become GPCP Advanced Certified, applicants must pass an additional online exam that covers more advanced topics such as advanced analysis techniques, data management, and application development. This exam typically takes approximately four hours to complete. Applicants must also demonstrate at least five years of relevant work experience or education in the geospatial intelligence field.

The cost of the USGIF GEOINT Professional Certification Program varies depending on which level you are pursuing and whether you are a USGIF member or non-member. For non-members, the cost for GPCP Certified is $450 and for GPCP Advanced Certified it is $600; for members, the cost for both levels is $300 each.

9. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Advanced Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program (AGICP)

The Advanced Geospatial Intelligence Certificate Program (AGICP) is a professional development program offered by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The program is designed to provide individuals with advanced knowledge and skills in geospatial intelligence, which includes the analysis of geographic information from satellite imagery, aerial photography, and other sources. AGICP provides an opportunity for professionals to gain expertise in the fields of remote sensing, GIS mapping, and geospatial analysis.

The program consists of three courses that are completed online over a period of six months. The courses cover topics such as image interpretation, image processing techniques, geospatial data management, and GIS applications. Participants must complete all three courses to receive their certificate.

To enroll in the AGICP program, applicants must have at least two years of experience in a related field or have completed a related degree or certification program. Applicants must also pass an entrance exam that tests their knowledge of basic GIS concepts.

The cost of the AGICP program is $2,000 per course. This fee covers tuition costs as well as access to online learning materials and resources.

10. National Reconnaissance Office’s Imagery Analysis Certification Program (IACP)

The National Reconnaissance Office’s Imagery Analysis Certification Program (IACP) is a certification program designed to provide imagery analysts with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively analyze imagery collected by U.S. government satellites. The IACP consists of four levels of certification, each requiring progressively more advanced training and experience.

Level 1: This level requires a minimum of 40 hours of classroom instruction in basic imagery analysis techniques and an additional 20 hours of supervised practical application of those techniques. The cost for this level is $2,000 and it can be completed in approximately two weeks.

Level 2: This level requires a minimum of 80 hours of classroom instruction in intermediate-level imagery analysis techniques, plus an additional 40 hours of supervised practical application. The cost for this level is $3,500 and it can be completed in approximately four weeks.

Level 3: This level requires a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction in advanced-level imagery analysis techniques, plus an additional 60 hours of supervised practical application. The cost for this level is $5,000 and it can be completed in approximately six weeks.

Level 4: This level requires a minimum of 160 hours of classroom instruction in expert-level imagery analysis techniques, plus an additional 80 hours of supervised practical application. The cost for this level is $7,500 and it can be completed in approximately eight weeks.

In order to get certified at any one or more levels, applicants must pass both the written exam and the practical application portion related to that particular level before they are eligible to receive their certification from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

11. American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing’s Certified Mapping Scientist – Remote Sensing Specialty (CMS-RS).

The Certified Mapping Scientist – Remote Sensing Specialty (CMS-RS) is a certification offered by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). This certification is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of remote sensing. The CMS-RS certification is intended to provide recognition for professionals who are proficient in the use of remote sensing data, products, and techniques.

In order to obtain the CMS-RS certification, applicants must meet certain requirements. These include having a minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of remote sensing, as well as completing an ASPRS approved course or workshop on remote sensing. Applicants must also pass an examination administered by ASPRS that tests their knowledge and understanding of remote sensing principles and practices.

The cost of obtaining the CMS-RS certification varies depending on how long it takes to complete all requirements. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete all requirements for the CMS-RS certification. The cost for taking the exam is typically around $200 USD, while other costs associated with obtaining the certification may include course fees or workshop fees.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also maintain their credentials by completing continuing education activities every three years. This helps ensure that those who hold this credential are up-to-date on current trends and developments in remote sensing technology.

Do You Really Need a Imagery Analyst Certificate?

An imagery analyst certificate can be a valuable asset for any aspiring professional in the field of geospatial intelligence. The certificate provides evidence that the individual has mastered the skills necessary to interpret and analyze satellite imagery, aerial photography, and other types of remote sensing data. It also demonstrates that the individual is knowledgeable of the various software programs used by analysts to create maps, charts, and reports based on their findings.

Although having an imagery analyst certificate may be beneficial in certain circumstances, it is not necessarily required for success in the field. With enough experience and dedication, it is possible to become a successful imagery analyst without obtaining a formal certificate. However, having a certification may provide individuals with an advantage when seeking employment or promotions within their organization. It can also give them an edge when competing for contracts with private companies or government agencies who value qualifications and credentials over experience alone.

In conclusion, obtaining an imagery analyst certificate can be beneficial for those who are looking to advance their career in geospatial intelligence. However, it is not necessarily required and there are alternative paths to success in this field without one. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide if getting an imagery analyst certification is right for them based on their own unique set of goals and aspirations.

Related: Imagery Analyst Resume Examples

FAQs About Imagery Analyst Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become an Imagery Analyst?

Answer: To become an Imagery Analyst, you typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in geography, geospatial science, remote sensing, or a related field. You may also need additional certifications or experience in the use of GIS software and other related technologies.

2. How long does it take to get certified as an Imagery Analyst?

Answer: It depends on the certification program you choose and your current level of knowledge and experience. Most programs require at least six months of coursework and/or training before you can sit for the certification exam.

3. What is the cost associated with getting certified as an Imagery Analyst?

Answer: The cost of certification varies depending on the program you choose, but generally ranges from $500-$1000 including registration fees and any necessary materials or equipment.

4. What type of job opportunities are available for certified Imagery Analysts?

Answer: Certified Imagery Analysts can find employment in a variety of industries including government agencies, defense contractors, engineering firms, environmental organizations, research institutions, and more. Job duties vary widely but may include conducting analysis using satellite imagery data, creating maps and other visual representations of geographic data, providing technical support for GIS systems, and more.

5. Are there continuing education requirements for certified Imagery Analysts?

Answer: Yes – most certifying bodies require that certified professionals complete a certain number of continuing education credits each year in order to remain up-to-date with industry standards and technology advances within their field.