What Do Surveying and Mapping Technicians Do?
A surveying and mapping technician collects data that is necessary for construction, mining, mapmaking and other projects. This data is usually collected under the supervision of an engineer, contractor, surveyor or cartographer. They compile, verify and produce maps to be used in a number of different ways.This profession is expected to see a 14% growth by 2022. Additionally, there is expected to be, on average, an annual 1,700 job openings nation-wide.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Skills and Abilities
In order to succeed as a surveying and mapping technician, you must possess a certain number of skills and abilities. You must be skilled in mathematics, as you will be using it to map and chart various features in your work. Critical thinking is very important, as well as active listening and reading comprehension. Necessary abilities include mathematical reasoning, information ordering and problem sensitivity. All of these make map creation and data gathering easier and more efficient.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Duties
The duties of surveying and mapping technicians differ. A mapping technician is responsible for verifying the accuracy of maps on all levels, designing databases, monitoring map updating, producing new maps, collecting necessary data and much more. On a basic level, they are involved in every step of the map making process, either directly or indirectly. Surveying technicians have a slightly different set of duties. These technicians use and adjust instruments to collect and verify data, make records of all data collected, lay out grids, direct and collaborate with other members of a team, prepare maps and maintain equipment.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Tools and Technology
Because the two types of technicians have different duties, they also have different tools that they must use and interact with. Mapping technicians use compasses, computers, cameras and scanners to create their maps. Surveying technicians use slightly more technical tools to do their job. Distance meters, levels, portable data input terminals, sonars and theodolites are all important tools in surveying. Mapping and surveying technicians both use the same technology, however. They both use analytical software, computer aided design software, databases, graphic imaging software and map creation software.
Education and Training for Surveying and Mapping Technicians
To be a surveying and mapping technician, you are generally required to have at least a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. Recent data indicates that 26.8% of people in this position have only a high school diploma, while another 36.8% have taken some college classes, but haven’t finished a degree. Less than 5% of all mapping and surveying technicians are without a high school diploma or equivalent. This position doesn’t necessarily need you to have any work experience, but does require you to get moderate-term on-the-job training.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Salary
On average, surveying and mapping technicians in the United States make $40,800 per year. That amounts to $19.60 per hour for a full time job. The top 10% make, on average, $67,300 annually, while the bottom 10% make the annual average salary of $25,300. Of course, these numbers can differ widely by state. For instance, the median average salary in California is a massive $63,100 per year, with the top 10% earning the median salary of $94,100.
Surveying and Mapping Technicians Jobs by Geography
The top states for employment of surveying and mapping technicians are Texas, Florida, California, North Carolina and New York. Texas alone represents 8,000 current surveying and mapping technician positions. However, the highest paid people in this position can be found in California, Alaska, Nevada, Oklahoma and Minnesota. These states all have mean wages between $52,850 and $64,000 per year.