SURVEY TECHNICIANS assist land surveyors by operating instruments to collect information in the field, and by performing computations and computer-aided drafting in offices. Survey technicians operate sophisticated optical and surveying instruments needed for compiling this information. Survey technicians help land surveyors in making precise measurements of the earth's surface for the purpose of establishing property boundaries. They help surveyors make measurements to create maps of land and water for planning, navigation and the layout and control of construction projects. Survey technicians also use the Global Positioning System (GPS), a satellite system which precisely locates points on the earth.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $41,000 average per year ($19.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (53,900 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.0% per year)
High school students interested in becoming a SURVEY TECHNICIAN should take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, drafting, mechanical drawing, and computer science. High school graduates with no formal training in surveying usually start as apprentices. Beginners with postsecondary school training in surveying usually can start as technicians or assistants. With on-the-job experience and formal training in surveying workers may advance to senior survey technician, then to party chief, and, in some cases, to licensed surveyor. Community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational schools offer programs in surveying technology.