What does a surveying technician do?
Surveying technicians perform many different duties to assist surveyors and other professionals. They collect data, make calculations, help with equipment, and assist with computer-aided drafting. They obtain a variety of data that is required to conduct new surveys. They use previous survey information, source maps, computer records, photographs, and other related information. They often set up and operate surveying equipment and make the necessary adjustments. Surveying technicians must keep detailed notes and charts of a variety of surveying projects. They also record measurements and enter data into computers using their notes, sketches, and inked tracings. They determine the accuracy of the data by comparing survey calculations with set standards.
What kind of training does a surveying technician need?
Surveying technicians usually need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some postsecondary experience in surveying or related field. Prospective surveying technicians often complete courses in algebra, trigonometry, geography, surveying, and computer science. Some surveying technicians complete formal apprenticeship programs that combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Many aspiring surveying technicians often complete internships or obtain part-time jobs to gain practical experience in the field. Majority of employers provide on the job training to new surveying technicians. New technicians often shadow experienced workers to learn the necessary procedures and expectations. Many surveying technicians gain professional certification from the National Society of Professional Surveyors to remain competitive in the field. Certification requirements usually include minimum experience and passing a written examination. Surveying technicians must complete continuing education to maintain their certifications and keep up to date with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a surveying technician?
Employment of surveying technicians is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 20% from 2008 to 2018 (1).
Job prospects should be favorable, especially for surveying technicians with advanced training and extensive experience. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace surveying technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do surveying technicians make?
As of April 2010, the average annual salary for surveying technicians is $37,000; average annual surveying technician salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a surveying technician is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in the surveying field and helping a variety of professionals. Surveying technicians must have a solid understanding of the concepts and procedures of surveying. Physical stamina, detail orientation, critical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary traits. Surveying technicians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of professionals and other workers. They must also work effectively as part of a team.