Surveying Technician Career

surveying-tech-500Surveying technicians assist mapping technicians and cartographers in making maps of the Earth’s surface. A surveying technician works on a team with other technicians, and this team is led by a chief surveyor or a senior technician.

Mapping technicians are in a related field, and their job is to collect, edit, and process the information they receive from the survey technicians. Geographic Information System technicians are also in a related field in which they collect and produce data on a specific location.

Surveying Technician Career Snapshot

Surveying technicians work full-time for local governments and engineering, construction, and mapping companies. They spend most of their time working outdoors in all types of weather, but they may work overtime during the summer months to take advantage of the good weather and extra daylight hours.

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


is the typical annual pay for surveying technicians.


decrease in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma or equivalent while 21% have a Post-secondary certificate.

Surveying Technician Education

A high school diploma is needed to become a surveying technician, but taking college-level courses in mathematics, mechanical drawing, and computer science is beneficial. There are no licensing or certification requirements, and newly hired surveying technicians receive on-the-job training. If a surveying technician is looking for career advancement, they can get certification through the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

Surveying Technician Job Duties

Survey technicians visit sites, take measurements of these sites, and record descriptive data about the sites. They use electronic surveying equipment to collect data, then they enter this information into their computers. Then the information is sent to mapping technicians who help cartographers produce and upgrade maps.

Surveying Technician Salaries

As of May 2016, the median pay for surveying technicians was $42,450 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entry-level surveying technicians may start out around $26,000 per year, and a senior technician can earn over $70,000 per year. Median pay for the related fields of mapping technician and GIS technician are higher, but these fields typically require a bachelor’s degree.

Surveying Technician Job Outlook

Job opening for surveying technicians is expected to decline 8% through 2024. Advances in surveying technology are allowing surveying technicians to do more work in less amount of time, which is reducing the demand for this line of work. Demand for surveying technicians can vary by region and by economic conditions.

Surveying Technician Skills & Traits

Surveying Technician Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Surveying Technicians:Typical Work Activities:
• Critical Thinking
• Active Listening
• Complex Problem Solving
• Mathematics
• Near Vision
• Deductive Reasoning
• Finger Dexterity
• Oral Comprehension
• Distance meters
• Automatic optical pendulum leveling systems
• Portable data input terminals
• Sonars
• Documenting & Recording Information
• Getting Information
• Interacting With Computers
• Processing Information

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