Surveying and mapping technicians 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. They both assist surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists.
Surveying technicians work outside extensively and can be exposed to all types of weather. Mapping technicians work primarily indoors on computers. Most surveying and mapping technicians work for firms that provide engineering, surveying, and mapping services on a contract basis. Local governments also employ these workers in highway and planning departments.
How to Become a Surveying or Mapping Technician
Surveying technicians usually need a high school diploma. However, mapping technicians often need formal education after high school to study technology applications, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Employment of surveying and mapping technicians is projected to decline 8 percent from 2014 to 2024. Advancements in surveying technology have increased productivity, reducing demand for surveying technicians.
This occupation supported 54,000 jobs in 2012 and 57,300 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 6.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 13.5% in 2022 to 61,300 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 55,400, compared with an observed value of 57,300, 3.4% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 8.1% in 2024 to 52,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 62,700 jobs for 2024, 18.5% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.