Surveying and mapping technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $39,350
- 2011, number of jobs: 48,590
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 16 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
Surveying and mapping technicians; what they do:
Mapping and surveying technicians help map the world and define boundaries. Mapping and surveying technicians work under surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists in collecting the necessary information for map creation.
Surveying technicians who work in fields, forests and dirt areas operate surveying instruments taking measurements, setting new markers, searching for old markers, and collecting data. A surveying technician career includes performing office work, such as transferring their information collected from the field onto computers and processing data.
Mapping technicians select which information is used in creating computerized maps showing boundaries, location of water, elevation, and other terrain features. A mapping technician career includes regularly inspecting maps for accuracy and updating them as needed. A mapping technician career may also involve helping photogrammetrists identify areas not yet captured on aerial photography via studying aerial photographs in sequence.
Surveying and mapping technicians job titles:
- Survey Party Chief
- Survey Crew Chief
- Geographic Information Specialist
- Instrument Operator
- Instrument Man (I-Man)
- Photogrammetric Compilation Specialist
- Computer Aided Design Technician (CAD Technician)
- Photogrammetric Technician
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
Surveying technicians generally have a high school diploma, although some obtain an Associate in Survey Technology degree or an Associate in Geomatics Technology degree. Surveying technicians learn primarily from on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed surveyor.
Surveying technicians begin their surveying careers placing markers; they gradually perform more difficult tasks until they’re helping determine what land to measure and how. Surveying technicians usually ultimately get an apprenticeship or associate’s degree to further develop math, drafting, and technical drawing skills.
Mapping technicians, however, generally have an Associate of Geomatics degree or a Bachelor of Geomatics degree or an undergraduate degree in a relevant field.
Surveying and mapping technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- echanical drawing
- Computer science
A general certification, called the Certified Survey Technician credential, is available, as well as the more specific certifications through The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and through The National Society of Professional Surveyors.
Career Advancement Opportunities
After obtaining relevant work experience and formal training in surveying, a surveying technician may become a senior survey technician, then party chief. After meeting state-specific licensing requirements, a surveying technician may also become a licensed surveyor.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 16 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for mapping and surveying technicians, on par with the average for all occupations.
Thanks to recent advances in mapping technology, people use maps in new ways, increasing the need for mapping technicians and surveying technicians to gather the information needed to create maps.
Local governments use the information gathered by mapping and surveying technicians to aid in infrastructure upgrades for roads, wires, pipes, and other infrastructures.
The rise in smart phones with Global Positioning System (GPS) programs for directions also relying heavily on the work of mapping and surveying technicians.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $39,350
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $51,690
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $30,740
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Major Employers
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Local government
- Federal government
- Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution