Education And Training
On-the-job training is usually the best way for surveying technicians to get experience. A surveying technician can get started working as an apprentice to a surveying team. Since surveying teams often have more work during warmer months, they may hire high school students for the summer.
There are vocational schools that offer one-, two-, or three-year programs in surveying or surveying engineering technology. If you earn an associate's degree from a vocational school you can often start working at a higher salary level than if you had started working straight from high school.
To prepare for a career as a surveying technician, there are several courses that you can take in high school that will give you a good background. Math classes such as algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are recommended. Computer science classes will help you to prepare for working with the equipment that surveyors use. Classes in drafting or mechanical drawing will help you to learn technical drawing skills.
Surveying technicians are employed by architects and engineers or by construction companies. State and local governments and government agencies such as the Forest Service or the U.S. Geological Survey also hire surveying technicians.
Land, Air, and Water
Surveys aren't just done on land. Here are some of the techniques surveyors use to map on land, in the air, and underwater. Land surveying technicians use tools such as a global positioning system (GPS), which uses radio signals from satellites to give precise locations. Surveying can be done from the air by attaching a camera to the bottom of a plane. The plane flies over the area being surveyed and takes many pictures. The pictures are then put together with a computer to produce an accurate image. Surveys can also be done underwater using sonar.
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