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Construction

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What Do Surveying and Mapping Technicians Do?

Gathering the data to establish the exact route of a new road or determining the correct borders and topography of a plot of land — these are the tasks of surveying and mapping technicians. Surveying technicians primarily collect survey data while mapping technicians primarily help produce or update maps. Depending on the size and focus of the company, some technicians do both tasks while others specialize.

They both use modern surveying and mapping instruments to assist licensed surveyors as well as cartographers and photogrammetrists. (Cartographers make maps while photogrammetrists conduct aerial and satellite surveys.) These technicians are trained to obtain data used for construction, mapmaking, boundary location, mining and more.

Technicians take measurements and perform calculations with the global positioning system (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design (CAD) software.

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Median Salary $
45,000
Jobs Available
6,480+
Surveying and mapping technicians require unique skills, including a clear understanding of geometry and the ability to take concise measurements of an area.
Most surveying and mapping technicians work for firms that provide engineering, surveying and mapping services on a contract basis. (Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Gather data used to confirm the accuracy of existing records
  • Set up, adjust and operate surveying equipment
  • Measure, record and calculate data 
  • Search for previous survey points on site or through records
  • Edit and process images and data from surveying equipment
  • Help produce or update maps showing boundaries and the location of water, elevation and other terrain details
Education + Training

A high school education or equivalent is typically required. Additional training in survey technology also may be needed, depending on the job. A certificate or associate degree program that includes training in geographic information systems (GIS) is becoming the norm. All technicians do on-the-job training either as part of a survey team or learning from a lead mapper how maps are created and stored in a database. Many do both.

Because these skills are needed in many professions, certification by national boards is becoming more common, such as the four-level National Society of Professional Surveyors Certified Survey Technician program. Requirements for licensing vary by state. Certifications and licensing can provide a path for advancement.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Have strong problem-solving skills
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have excellent listening skills
  • Have the physical stamina to do outdoor surveying in rugged terrain
  • Have good decision-making skills

Surveying and Mapping Technicians training in your area

Coordinates

Geographic Information Systems Emergency Response Micro-Credential Skills Attainment Certificate

Columbia College
Sonora (0.0 Miles)

Architectural Design Technology Short Certificate

Calhoun Community College
Tanner (0.0 Miles)

Engineering Technologist Support Certificate

Mt. San Jacinto College
San Jacinto (0.0 Miles)

Surveying Certificate

Bristol Community College
Fall River (0.0 Miles)

Geospatial Information Technology, C. A. S.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)

Geographic Information Systems/UAV Drone Mapping Micro-Credential Skills Attainment Certificate

Columbia College
Sonora (0.0 Miles)

Engineering and Technology, A.A.

Pasadena City College
Pasadena (0.0 Miles)
Dallas College logo

Surveying Technician, A.A.S.

Dallas College
Irving (0.0 Miles)

Construction Estimating and Scheduling, A. A. S.

Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)
Dallas College logo

Surveying Certificate

Dallas College
Irving (0.0 Miles)

Geographic Information Technology, A. A. S.

Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)

Associate of Applied Technology in Drafting and Design Technology

Louisiana Delta Community College
Monroe (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Zachary Clark Gooch
Image
Zachary Clark Gooch, surveying and mapping technician
Meet Ambassador
Zachary Clark Gooch

Zachary Clark Gooch is a surveying and mapping technician in Niceville, Florida, and he wants to clear the air about a common misconception: Land surveyors aren’t the people who ask survey questions. They're the people who collect data and make maps. 

“It wasn’t pushed as a profession when I was in high school,” says Gooch who realized that his favorite task in his old job was making maps — and that became his ticket to changing careers.

Find Surveying and Mapping Technicians Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Survey Crew Chief

Cranston Engineering Group, P.C.
Augusta ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 year 10 months ago

Senior Engineering Technician #20-395

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc.
Roswell ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Geomatics Crew Chief

Mc Kim & Creed
Fort Myers ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 3 weeks ago

Geomatics Crew Chief

Mc Kim & Creed
Tampa ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Laboratory/Field Technician #21-95

Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc.
Riverside ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Mc Kim & Creed
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Hydrographer

David Evans and Associates
Vancouver ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Atlas Technical Consultants, Inc.
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