A total station is a measuring device used by land surveyors, and surveying and mapping technicians. Technicians and surveyors learn how to use a total station during their formal training, either in a classroom or on the job.
Land surveyors are responsible for the dimensions and contours of land and land features. They then use this data to establish land and water boundaries. They are also responsible for writing precise descriptions of the land they surveyed for legal documents.
Two-year degrees in surveying technology teach students the principles, theories and automated methods of land mapping. Many programs involve the use of surveying equipment, such as the total station, as part of their coursework.
Four-year degrees in surveying engineering combine theory and the use of advanced geospatial measurement systems, such as the total station. The degrees usually include advanced math, the legal aspects of surveying, and data collection systems. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, as of 2010, most surveyors require a four-year degree.