Surveying & Mapping Technology
Nature of the Profession
Surveyors determine the exact location and measurement of points, lines, and contours of the earth’s surface and prepare maps or reports showing specifications. They use instruments and the principles of geometry to find these exact measurements. Duties include, but are not limited to:
- legal research including boundary law, notes, maps, deeds, and other records
- checking the accuracy of the information gathered
- creating maps using computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) systems
- preparing sketches, maps, and reports
- coordinating results with engineers and architects
Education and Training
Most people prepare for a career as a licensed surveyor by combining postsecondary school courses in surveying with extensive on-the-job training. The State of Texas now requires applicants for registered surveyor status to have a bachelor’s degree in a surveying-related discipline. Tyler Junior College offers a certificate of proficiency and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree which helps prepare highly-qualified surveying technicians. Those who earn an Associate of Applied Science can transfer to the University of Texas at Tyler to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Technology with emphasis in surveying and mapping.
Surveying technicians usually work an eight-hour day, five days a week, and may spend a lot of time in the office. Surveyors can spend a considerable amount of time inside planning surveys, analyzing data, and preparing reports and maps. Field technicians work outdoors collecting measurements for mapping projects.
Registered Surveyor: $40,000 to $250,000+ a year
Surveying Technician: $18,720 to $69,000 a year
Employment of surveying and mapping technicians is expected to increase 21% through the year 2016. There is growing demand for people to do GPS, GIS, and remote sensing work will continue to increase both the accuracy and productivity of these workers.