Land survey technicians are always in demand, and it is a career path that is required all around the world. Land surveying dates back thousands of years and is even more important today than ever before. In today's guide we shall look at the job of a land survey technician.
What is a Land Survey Technician?
Land survey technicians work in conjunction with land surveyors and related professions to help adjust and operate the equipment used for creating surveys as well as compiling notes and data and making sketches.
Land survey technicians obtain land survey data including angles, elevation and contours using a variety of equipment and techniques. Using the data they will compile notes and records of work that has been performed to help assist the licensed land surveyor.
Land survey technicians are required to be able to use CAD (computer aided design) systems to create drawings and maps of surveyed areas. They also use equipment such as GPS (global positioning system), digital mapping systems, electronic distance measuring instruments and other tools to perform their work.
Land survey technicians play a crucial part in land surveying of all types and a wide range of skills are required to be successful as a land survey technician as we shall see below.
Skills Required for Land Survey Technicians
Land survey technicians are highly skilled professionals that need to have a high degree of accuracy and patience to be successful.
Mathematical skills are essential for land survey technicians. Land surveying is based around the fundamentals of mathematics such as geometry and trigonometry.
Strong reading and writing skills are also required as a land survey technician as accurate and detailed reports need to be written. The ability to communicate verbally is also important as they need to communicate their findings and information to other members of the surveying group when required.
A good grasp of technology is very important as a land survey technician, as well as problem solving skills. The job of a land survey technician can be quite demanding and they need to be able to adapt to changing technology and use their surveying knowledge to solve problems.
Becoming a Land Survey Technician
As we mentioned before, land survey technicians are highly trained professionals and formal education is a requirement to become a land survey technician.
Typically, a one or two year college course in geomatics or land surveying engineering is adequate for starting a career as a land survey technician. There are dozens of colleges across the USA that offer these courses.
Entry into land survey technician courses usually requires outstanding high school grades in mathematics, English and physics.
Land Survey Technician Salary
The salary for land survey technicians varies depending on the employer and the location of employment.
Entry level salary for land survey technicians typically starts at around $18,500 per year, with the average salary being just under $30,000 and the maximum salary at just under $50,000 per year.
Generally private companies pay more than government positions for land survey technicians.
Where do Land Survey Technicians Work?
Land survey technicians are hired by a range of employers including government agencies, private companies, architectural firms, computer software firms and individual land owners to name just a few.
Many people choose to work as a land survey technician because they enjoy working outdoors. Land survey technician careers are a good compromise between indoor and outdoor work. A lot of time is spent actually outdoors helping to survey areas, however there is a significant amount of time spent in the office drawing and working with computers and data.
Land survey technicians need to be prepared to work in all terrains and weather conditions - which can often be very harsh and grueling. They need to carry heavy equipment with them across large areas of land that may not be easily accessible by transport.
Additionally, there is often a lot of travel involved in land survey technician jobs. Mining companies will often hire land survey technicians to work in very remote areas.