Surveying Technicians
SOC: 17-3031.01

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
57,300 employed

Projected (2024):
52,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Assistant Surveyor
  • C Level Crew Chief
  • CAD Technician (Computer Assisted Design Technician)
  • Chain Carrier
  • Chain Person
  • Chain, Rod, or Ax Survey Worker
  • Chainman
  • Compass Operator
  • Engineering Assistant
  • Engineering Physical Science Technician
  • Engineering Technician
  • Field Crew Chief
  • Field Supervisor
  • Geophysical Party Chief
  • Instrument Man (I-Man)
  • Instrument Operator
  • Instrument Person
  • Land Survey Technician
  • Land Surveying Party Chief
  • Land Surveying Survey Worker
  • Land Surveyor
  • Levelman
  • Marine Surveyor
  • Party Chief
  • River and Harbor Soundings Group Leader
  • Rodman
  • Stake Driver
  • Stake Setter
  • Staker
  • Survey CAD Technician (Survey Computer-Aided Design Technician)
  • Survey Crew Chief
  • Survey Crew Member
  • Survey Instrument Operator
  • Survey Manager
  • Survey Party Chief
  • Survey Rodman
  • Survey Technician
  • Surveying Crew Rodman
  • Surveying Crew Stake Runner
  • Surveying Technician
  • Surveyor
  • Surveyor Chain Helper
  • Surveyor Helper
  • Surveyor Instrument Assistant
  • Surveyor Rod Helper
  • Transit Man
  • Transit Survey Worker
  • Transit Worker


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    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.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    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.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, and electronic distance-measuring equipment.
  • Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.
  • Run rods for benches and cross-section elevations.
  • Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.
  • Record survey measurements and descriptive data using notes, drawings, sketches, and inked tracings.
  • Perform calculations to determine earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures and adjustments, azimuths, level runs, and placement of markers.
  • 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.
  • Search for section corners, property irons, and survey points.
  • Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.
  • Direct and supervise work of subordinate members of surveying parties.
  • Set out and recover stakes, marks, and other monumentation.
  • Lay out grids, and determine horizontal and vertical controls.
  • Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.
  • Collect information needed to carry out new surveys using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, and other relevant information.
  • Prepare topographic and contour maps of land surveyed, including site features and other relevant information such as charts, drawings, and survey notes.
  • Maintain equipment and vehicles used by surveying crews.
  • Place and hold measuring tapes when electronic distance-measuring equipment is not used.
  • Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.
  • Perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines, carrying stakes, rebar, and other heavy items, and stacking rods.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 3D laser scanning systems
  • Alidades
  • Automatic optical pendulum leveling systems
  • Axes
  • Barometers
  • Chain saws
  • Clinometers
  • Community base station global positioning systems GPS
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Distance meters
  • Echosounders
  • Electronic digital/bar-code leveling systems
  • Electronic distance measuring devices
  • Electrotapes
  • Engineering scales
  • Extensometers
  • Fathometer sonar equipment
  • Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
  • Geodetic leveling rods
  • Geological compasses
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Ground vibration sensing equipment
  • Hand levels
  • Handheld data collectors
  • Hatchets
  • Jackhammers
  • Laser distance measuring equipment
  • Laser printers
  • Laser scanner coordinate capturing equipment
  • Leveling bubbles
  • Levels
  • Machetes
  • Magnetic field pipe locators
  • Mallets
  • Measuring chains
  • Measuring rods
  • Measuring tapes
  • Metal detectors
  • Multibeam sonar equipment
  • Notebook computers
  • Optical pendulum levels
  • Personal computers
  • Plane tables
  • Plotters
  • Plumb bobs
  • Portable hydrographic surveying equipment
  • Pre-programmed coordinate geometry COGO calculators
  • Prism poles
  • Prisms
  • Programmable calculators
  • Ranger data collectors
  • Real-time kinematics RTK global positioning systems GPS
  • Robotic survey measuring instruments
  • Scanners
  • Side scan sonars
  • Sight targets
  • Survey instrument control units
  • Telescoping pole saws
  • Tellurometers
  • Templates
  • Theodolites
  • Total stations
  • Transit levels
  • Triangles
  • Tribrach level bubble adjusting blocks
  • Tribrach optical plummet adjusting cylinders
  • Tripods
  • Two way radios
  • Vertical/target rods
  • Wheeled measuring devices
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk CAiCE Visual Transportation software
  • Autodesk Land Desktop
  • Bentley GeoPak Bridge
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • CARIS HIPS
  • CARIS SIPS
  • Carlson CG Survey
  • Carlson software
  • Carlson SurvCADD
  • Carlson Survey
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Coordinate geometry COGO software
  • Database software
  • Datalog with guidance DLWG software
  • Desktop digital photogrammetry system DDPS software
  • Email software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Foresoft CDS Cogo
  • Foresoft CDS Model
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Low-level driver LLD software
  • MENSI 3Dipsos
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • MicroSurvey FieldGenius
  • MicroSurvey OfficeSync
  • MicroSurvey software
  • Modeling software
  • Muncy Plat Pronto
  • QuickCogo software
  • SiteComp software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Survey Starnet Software
  • Traverse PC software
  • Trimble Digital Fieldbook
  • Trimble Geomatics Office
  • Trimble GPS Pathfinder
  • Trimble Terramodel
  • Trimble TerraSync
  • Trimble Total Control
  • Tripod Data Systems Foresight
  • Tripod Data Systems software
  • Triton Elics International Isis
  • TRS Software TomCADD
  • Web browser software


  • architecture and engineering


    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980