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Details for Surveying Technicians


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


  • Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, and electronic distance-measuring equipment.
  • Compile information necessary to stake projects for construction, using engineering plans.
  • Run rods for benches and cross-section elevations.
  • Position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles, distances, and elevations.
  • Record survey measurements and descriptive data using notes, drawings, sketches, and inked tracings.
  • Perform calculations to determine earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures and adjustments, azimuths, level runs, and placement of markers.
  • 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.
  • Search for section corners, property irons, and survey points.
  • Operate and manage land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data, making inquiries, and producing plots and reports.
  • Direct and supervise work of subordinate members of surveying parties.
  • Set out and recover stakes, marks, and other monumentation.
  • Lay out grids, and determine horizontal and vertical controls.
  • Compare survey computations with applicable standards to determine adequacy of data.
  • Collect information needed to carry out new surveys using source maps, previous survey data, photographs, computer records, and other relevant information.
  • Prepare topographic and contour maps of land surveyed, including site features and other relevant information such as charts, drawings, and survey notes.
  • Maintain equipment and vehicles used by surveying crews.
  • Place and hold measuring tapes when electronic distance-measuring equipment is not used.
  • Provide assistance in the development of methods and procedures for conducting field surveys.
  • Perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines, carrying stakes, rebar, and other heavy items, and stacking rods.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - 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.



  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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