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Surveying Technician

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Life As a Surveying Technician

Occupation Description Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.

A Day in the Life of a Surveying Technician

  • 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 and other surveying instruments.
  • Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.
  • Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.
  • Run rods for benches and cross-section elevations.
  • Set out and recover stakes, marks, and other monumentation.
  • Perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines, carrying stakes, rebar, and other heavy items, and stacking rods.

Qualities of a Surveying Technician

When polled, Surveying Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Other Surveying Technician Job Titles

  • Survey Crew Chief
  • Chain Carrier
  • Transit Man
  • Surveyor Instrument Assistant
  • Survey Field Technician

Job Demand for Surveying Technicians

There were about 60,200 jobs for Surveying Technician in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6,400 new jobs for Surveying Technician by 2026. There will be an estimated 7,200 positions for Surveying Technician per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Surveying Technician are North Dakota, Utah, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maine, or Washington. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Surveying Technician Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Surveying Technicians is somewhere between $27,360 and $74,110.

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Surveying Technicians who work in California, Alaska, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

How much do Surveying Technicians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,850
Alaska $59,850
Arizona $53,730
Arkansas $43,000
California $69,910
Colorado $52,360
Connecticut $58,360
Delaware $42,010
Florida $40,900
Georgia $42,180
Hawaii $48,300
Idaho $45,090
Illinois $55,410
Indiana $41,030
Iowa $48,590
Kansas $43,350
Kentucky $38,960
Louisiana $44,540
Maine $43,640
Maryland $49,820
Massachusetts $59,320
Michigan $38,070
Minnesota $55,170
Mississippi $43,030
Missouri $42,560
Montana $49,120
Nebraska $45,530
Nevada $51,400
New Hampshire $48,300
New Jersey $49,800
New Mexico $47,440
New York $52,470
North Carolina $43,800
North Dakota $51,200
Ohio $44,280
Oklahoma $45,870
Oregon $54,570
Pennsylvania $47,600
Rhode Island $53,980
South Carolina $38,250
South Dakota $39,180
Tennessee $46,020
Texas $42,740
Utah $51,090
Vermont $51,840
Virginia $47,570
Washington $51,100
West Virginia $42,750
Wisconsin $43,500
Wyoming $47,870

What Tools do Surveying Technicians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Surveying Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software

How to Become a Surveying Technician

What education or degrees do I need to become a Surveying Technician?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Surveying Technicians Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Career changers with experience as a Surveying Technician sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: Mike1979 Russia via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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