What Surveying and Mapping Technicians Do

Want to know more about what exactly a surveying technician does? This article explains it pretty well.

from bls.gov

Surveying and mapping technicians assist surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists. Together, they collect data and make maps of the earth’s surface. Surveying technicians visit sites to take measurements of the land. Mapping technicians use geographic data to create maps.


Surveying technicians typically do the following:

  • Visit sites to record survey measurements and other descriptive data
  • Operate surveying instruments, such as electronic distance-measuring equipment, to collect data on a location
  • Set out stakes and marks to conduct the survey, and then retrieve them
  • Search for previous survey points, such as old stone markers
  • Enter the data from surveying instruments into computers, either in the field or in an office

Surveying technicians help surveyors in the field on teams, known as survey parties. A typical survey party has a party chief and one or more surveying technicians and assistants. The party chief, either a surveyor or a senior surveying technician, leads day-to-day work activities. After data are collected by the survey party, surveying technicians help to process the data by entering the data into computers.

Mapping technicians typically do the following:

Mapping technicians help cartographers and photogrammetrists produce and upgrade maps. They do this work on computers, combining data from different sources.

Geographic information systems (GIS) technicians use geographic information system (GIS) technology to assemble, integrate, and display data about a particular location in a digital format. They also use GIS technology to compile information from a variety of sources. GIS technicians also maintain and update databases for GIS devices.

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