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Surveying Technicians

Also called: Instrument Man (I-Man), Survey Crew Chief, Survey Party Chief, Survey Technician

What they do:
Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
On the job, you would:
  • Adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms, theodolites, and electronic distance-measuring equipment.
  • Perform calculations to determine earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures and adjustments, azimuths, level runs, and placement of markers.
  • Record survey measurements and descriptive data using notes, drawings, sketches, and inked tracings.


Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
  • geography
Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development
  • computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
  • English language
Safety and Government
  • law and government


Basic Skills
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • listen and understand what people say
  • communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
  • put together small parts with your fingers
  • hold or move items with your hands
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • use rules to solve problems
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Initiative
  • Achievement/Effort


You might use software like this on the job:

Analytical or scientific software
  • Foresoft CDS Cogo
  • Modeling software
Computer aided design CAD software
  • Autodesk CAiCE Visual Transportation software
  • Bentley MicroStation
Map creation software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Muncy Plat Pronto


Education: (rated 3 of 5)
high school diploma/GED or
certificate after high school
usually needed

Get started on your career:

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Job Outlook

Average Outlook
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
per year, on average
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See more details at O*NET OnLine about surveying technicians.