Surveying Technicians: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Surveying Technicians jobs information
pros and cons of being a Surveying Technician

Surveying Technicians

Other names for this job might include Assistant Surveyor, C Level Crew Chief, CAD Technician (Computer Assisted Design Technician), Chain Carrier, Chain Person, Chain, Rod, or Ax Survey Worker, Chainman, Compass Operator, Engineering Assistant, Engineering Physical Science Technician

  • $44800
  • 69%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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Surveying Technicians: Know It All In 1 Minute

In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Surveying Technician is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.

Job description

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.
  • 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.
  • Search for section corners, property irons, and survey points.

Read more about what does A Surveying Technician really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$44800 per year

Hourly wage
$21.54 an hour

Surveying Technicians with little to no experience tend to make between $26060 and $32580 while the more experienced ones make over $54500 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Surveying Technician is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Surveying Technicians are CA, AK, NV, CT and WA.

However a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Surveying Technician is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Surveying Technicians make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Surveying Technicians what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by Certificate.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Surveying Technology/Surveying

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Surveying Technician successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Surveying Technicians have these 5 skillsets.

Critical Thinking
Reading Comprehension
Active Listening

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Surveying Technicians is they are good at Attention to Detail. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Attention to Detail
Analytical Thinking
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Surveying Technician and the degree, training and education you need

Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Surveying Technician as your career.

Suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Salary is below average

There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

Working hours
40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)

On a normal working week Surveying Technicians work 40 hours per week.

69% of Surveying Technicians said they were satisfied with their job and 50% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

How we can help

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Rank: C
Salary: $37990

They provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts, under the direction of foresters; or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation, fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats.
Rank: C+
Salary: $55470

They apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, test, or calibrate machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
Rank: B
Salary: $51030

They apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site remediation, under the direction of engineering staff or scientist. May assist in the development of environmental remediation devices.
Rank: B
Salary: $58500

They test or analyze geological samples, crude oil, or minerals to detect presence of petroleum, gas, or mineral deposits indicating potential for exploration or production or to determine physical or chemical properties to ensure that products meet quality standards.
Rank: D
Salary: $29640

They under supervision, perform manual labor necessary to develop, maintain, or protect areas such as forests, forested areas, woodlands, wetlands, and rangelands through such activities as raising and transporting seedlings; combating insects, pests, and diseases harmful to plant life; and building structures to control water, erosion, and leaching of soil. Includes forester aides, seedling pullers, and tree planters.

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Career type

Architecture and Engineering
Engineering and Technology

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Surveying Technicians job description, Surveying Technicians salary, Surveying Technicians information, what is the job of a Surveying Technician like, pros and cons about Surveying Technicians, colleges and universities for Surveying Technicians, is Surveying Technicians the right career for me, Medium careers to get into, careers in Architecture and Engineering

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Surveying Technicians
Written by: Stanley Tan
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.
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