We are constantly changing the face of the earth - digging, building, re-routing. No major construction project can proceed without the information gathered and interpreted by surveying technicians. Often called instrument people, they are hands on members of the survey party that measures and locat ...
es natural and manmade features above and below ground.
Working under the direction of a licensed surveyor, technicians set up, adjust, and operate precision instruments. These can include electronic and computerized devices that measure distances, contours, angles and elevations between points of the earth's surface. It requires a clear understanding of geometry. And they go high-tech, too, setting up receivers for global positioning systems. GPS precisely locates sites using radio signals transmitted by satellites.
About half of the surveying technician's work is performed outdoors, in any climate and terrain. Though rarely strenuous, technicians may have to carry their equipment long distances. The other half of their job is done back at the office. There, they convert the data they've gathered into maps and charts, using computers and specialized software.
A 40 hour week is standard, but longer surveying hours are common in the summer. New hires train with more experienced technicians. Employers prefer to hire people with an associate's or bachelor's degree in surveying or engineering, and it's mandatory if you hope to become a licensed surveyor.
Geography has been called the science of space and place on the earth's surface. Surveying technicians help us define our place.
Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.
Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.
Maintain equipment and vehicles used by surveying crews.
Set out and recover stakes, marks, and other monumentation.
Direct and supervise work of subordinate members of surveying parties.
Lay out grids, and determine horizontal and vertical controls.
Prepare topographic and contour maps of land surveyed, including site features and other relevant information such as charts, drawings, and survey notes.
Perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines, carrying stakes, rebar, and other heavy items, and stacking rods.
Place and hold measuring tapes when electronic distance-measuring equipment is not used.
Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.
Collect information needed to carry out new surveys using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, and other relevant information.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Using mathematics to solve problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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