Mapping Technician Career

mapping-tech-500A mapping technician’s primary responsibility is to create maps of the Earth’s surface. Mapping technicians use data that their colleagues, typically a surveying technician, collected about a particular site or area of a city or town to create maps with information about elevations and land forms. Mapping technicians assist cartographers and surveyors.

Mapping technicians primarily work indoors with computers and mapping software. They typically work for engineering or surveying firms on a contract basis to help with a particular project. In addition, numerous town and city governments employ mapping technicians in their highway and planning departments. They typically work regular schedules, approximately 40 hours per week, but surveying technicians may work additional hours during the summer, as this is when the weather is best for completing outdoor surveying tasks.

Mapping Technician Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a mapping technician are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for mapping technicians.


decrease in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 14% have some college, but no degree.

Mapping Technician Education

Typically, only a high school diploma is required to become a mapping technician, but additional formal college-level coursework is usually needed to become certified in particular technology applications, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Forty-two percent of mapping technicians have a bachelor’s degree, while 14 percent have some college coursework completed, and 13 percent have completed a certificate program.

Mapping Technician Job Duties

Mapping technicians will check all layers of maps for accuracy, and make corrections or adjustments when errors are found. They often also develop databases that contain topographical or geographical data of a particular area. They also frequently determine scales, line sizes and colors to be used on hard copies of maps produced with computer software to ensure accuracy and appropriate border locations, as well as where separations exist between land and water.

Mapping Technician Salaries

The expected median annual wage for a mapping technician position is $42,450 according to statistics. The lowest ten percent earned $26,030, while the highest ten percent of mapping technicians earned more than $70,280.

Mapping Technician Job Outlook

The need for mapping technicians is expected to decline at a rate of approximately 8 percent between 2014 and 2024. The primary reason for this is due to advancements in surveying technology. Many surveying technicians are being replaced by robotic stations, which allow mapping technicians to complete more work in less time. However, some job openings will arise as the result of people leaving the occupation.

Mapping Technician Skills & Traits

Mapping Technician Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Mapping Technicians:Typical Work Activities:
• Reading Comprehension
• Mathematics
• Active Learning
• Critical Thinking
• Near Vision
• Written Comprehension
• Mathematical Reasoning
• Problem Sensitivity
• Compasses
• Drafting kits or sets
• Plotter printers
• Engineering scales
• Interacting With Computers
• Getting Information
• Documenting/Recording Information
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates

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