Surveying Technicians

Architecture & Construction > Design/Pre-Construction

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.

Common job titles of Surveying Technicians include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 33.33% said they needed a Associate's Degree.

  • 25% said they needed a High School Diploma.


    Record survey measurements and descriptive data, using notes, drawings, sketches, and inked tracings.

    Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.

    Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.

    Prepare topographic and contour maps of land surveyed, including site features and other relevant information, such as charts, drawings, and survey notes.

    Collect information needed to carry out new surveys, using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, and other relevant information.

    Conduct surveys to ascertain the locations of natural features and man-made structures on the Earth's surface, underground, and underwater, using electronic distance-measuring equipment and other surveying instruments.

    Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.

    Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.

    Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, and electronic distance-measuring equipment.

    Perform calculations to determine earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures and adjustments, azimuths, level runs, and placement of markers.

    Maintain equipment and vehicles used by surveying crews.

    Direct and supervise work of subordinate members of surveying parties.

    Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.

    Place and hold measuring tapes when electronic distance-measuring equipment is not used.

    Lay out grids, and determine horizontal and vertical controls.

    Set out and recover stakes, marks, and other monumentation.

    Search for section corners, property irons, and survey points.

    Run rods for benches and cross-section elevations.

    Perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines, carrying stakes, rebar, and other heavy items, and stacking rods.


Wheeled measuring devices

Vertical/target rods

Two way radios


Tribrach optical plummet adjusting cylinders

Tribrach level bubble adjusting blocks


All Tools

Transit levels

Total stations




Telescoping pole saws

Survey instrument control units

Sight targets

Side scan sonars


Robotic survey measuring instruments

Real-time kinematics RTK global positioning systems GPS

Ranger data collectors

Programmable calculators


Prism poles

Pre-programmed coordinate geometry COGO calculators

Portable hydrographic surveying equipment

Plumb bobs


Plane tables

Personal computers

Optical pendulum levels

Notebook computers

Multibeam sonar equipment

Metal detectors

Measuring tapes

Measuring rods

Measuring chains


Magnetic field pipe locators



Leveling bubbles

Laser scanner coordinate capturing equipment

Laser printers

Laser distance measuring equipment



Handheld data collectors

Hand levels

Ground vibration sensing equipment

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Geological compasses

Geodetic leveling rods

Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles

Fathometer sonar equipment


Engineering scales


Electronic distance measuring devices

Electronic digital/bar-code leveling systems


Distance meters

Digital cameras

Desktop computers

Community base station global positioning systems GPS


Chain saws



Automatic optical pendulum leveling systems


3D laser scanning systems


Autodesk AutoCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Autodesk CAiCE Visual Transportation

Autodesk Land Desktop

Bentley MicroStation

Carlson CG Survey

Carlson SurvCADD

All Technologies

Computer aided design and drafting software CADD

Computer aided design CAD software

ESRI ArcGIS software

Geographic information system GIS software

MENSI 3Dipsos

Microsoft Excel


Trimble Terramodel

Tripod Data Systems Foresight

TRS Software TomCADD

Bentley GeoPak Bridge

Bentley Systems InRoads Suite




Carlson Survey

Coordinate geometry COGO software

Datalog with guidance DLWG software

Desktop digital photogrammetry system DDPS

Email software

ESRI ArcInfo

ESRI ArcView

Foresoft CDS Cogo

Foresoft CDS Model

Geomechanical design analysis GDA software

Low-level driver LLD software

Microsoft Exchange

MicroSurvey FieldGenius

MicroSurvey OfficeSync

MicroSurvey Star*Net

Modeling software

Muncy Plat Pronto


SiteComp Survey

Spreadsheet software

Traverse PC

Trimble Digital Fieldbook

Trimble Geomatics Office

Trimble GPS Pathfinder

Trimble TerraSync

Trimble Total Control

Tripod Data Systems

Triton Elics International Isis

Web browser software

Word processing software


Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

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.


Using mathematics to solve problems.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operation and Control

Controlling operations of equipment or systems.


See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

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