Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Surveyor at work_1.webp
$47,180 Median Wage (2022)
7,800 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
3.30% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Perform surveying and mapping duties, usually under the direction of an engineer, surveyor, cartographer, or photogrammetrist, to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining, or other purposes. May calculate mapmaking information and create maps from source data, such as surveying notes, aerial photography, satellite data, or other maps to show topographical features, political boundaries, and other features. May verify accuracy and completeness of maps.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
  • Develop software or computer applications.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Create maps.
  • Gather physical survey data.
  • Operate computer systems.
  • Verify mathematical calculations.
  • Calculate geographic positions from survey data.
  • Assist engineers or scientists with research.
  • Prepare maps.
  • Explain project details to the general public.
  • Document technical design details.
  • Survey land or properties.
  • Create graphical representations of structures or landscapes.
  • Enter codes or other information into computers.
  • Estimate costs for projects or productions.
  • Determine geographic coordinates.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.
  • Check all layers of maps to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Design or develop information databases that include geographic or topographic data.
  • Monitor mapping work or the updating of maps to ensure accuracy, inclusion of new or changed information, or compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Produce or update overlay maps to show information boundaries, water locations, or topographic features on various base maps or at different scales.
  • Determine scales, line sizes, or colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.
  • Identify and compile database information to create requested maps.
  • Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.
  • Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.
  • Analyze aerial photographs to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Research and combine existing property information to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, or land boundary adjustments.
  • Calculate latitudes, longitudes, angles, areas, or other information for mapmaking, using survey field notes or reference tables.
  • Compare topographical features or contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, or other reference materials to verify the accuracy of their identification.
  • Trace contours or topographic details to generate maps that denote specific land or property locations or geographic attributes.
  • Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.
  • Trim, align, and join prints to form photographic mosaics, maintaining scaled distances between reference points.
  • Answer questions and provide information to the public or to staff members regarding assessment maps, surveys, boundaries, easements, property ownership, roads, zoning, or similar matters.
  • Complete detailed source and method notes describing the location of routine or complex land parcels.
  • Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, electronic distance measuring equipment, or electronic data collectors.
  • Collect information needed to carry out new surveys, using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, or other relevant information.
  • Conduct surveys to ascertain the locations of natural features and man-made structures on the Earth's surface, underground, and underwater, using electronic distance-measuring equipment, such as GPS, and other surveying instruments.
  • Enter Global Positioning System (GPS) data, legal deeds, field notes, or land survey reports into geographic information system (GIS) workstations so that information can be transformed into graphic land descriptions, such as maps and drawings.
  • Perform calculations to determine earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures or adjustments, azimuths, level runs, or placement of markers.
  • Prepare cost estimates for mapping projects.
  • Prepare topographic or contour maps of land surveyed, including site features and other relevant information, such as charts, drawings, and survey notes.
  • Record survey measurements or descriptive data, using notes, drawings, sketches, or inked tracings.
  • Search for section corners, property irons, or survey points.
  • Set out and recover stakes, marks, or other monumentation.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of workers engaged in surveying, plotting data, drafting maps, or producing blueprints, photostats, or photographs.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.