What does it take to have a job as a survey technician?

What does it take to have a job as a survey technician?

Looking for a survey technician job?

Survey CAD technicians are in demand.

Survey Technicians refer to two specific disciplines. Field technicians are responsible for running survey equipment in the field and gather data. These people are sometimes referred to as “rodmen” as they use GPS rods to measure points.

The other discipline is a Survey CAD Technician. Cad Technicians prepare field data into deliverables. This data is often from a contractor looking to measure stockpiles or from a topographic map for a drainage study. They use programs such as Autodesk Land and Civil3D to transform raw data into readable maps and surveys. There is a large demand for people interested in survey, as the average age of a US surveyor is over 60 years old! 

Volume Calculation of Stockpile

What do they get paid?

Survey CAD Technicians pay is based on how much job experience the individual has. In general, survey technicians can expect a $45,000 salary to start, with experienced individuals making as much as $70,000. Not bad for siting behind a computer! The pay is influenced by factors strongly tied to attributes that make someone a good survey tech.

Who makes a good survey cad technician

The average job listing:

Most job listings for a Survey CAD Technician look something like the following:

“We are seeking an experienced Survey Technician to fill an opening in our growing and expanding company! The ideal candidate would have the following skills:

  • Extensive Surveying office experience including the ability to work solo with limited supervision.
  • Knowledge in producing Residential and Commercial Boundary Surveys, ALTA Surveys, Land Development and Platting, and construction calculations and as-builts.
  • ​Office Management of larger ongoing projects.
  • Experience using Trimble Geomatics Office, Autodesk Land Desktop, Civil 3D, and Carlson Survey.
  • Basic knowledge of survey field procedures and software (Trimble Access).
  • We do offer the opportunity for remote work. The candidate needs to be very self-motivated and have the ability to work on their own to complete projects from start to finish. Excellent communication skills a must. As is coordinating and interacting with clients and project managers to meet their schedules and expectations.
  • *Review after 90 days of employment for possible pay raise**”

As you can see, it helps to have experience with survey software and knowledge of survey types. 

What if you don’t have survey experience?

An individual with sharp computer skills that is familiar with 2D and 3D design and has a passion for detail can learn the position with training. Leveraging a desire to become a survey technician, you can find many resources online to learn the basics of CAD and understand the basics of surveying. Here are some resources:

Civil3D tutorial: See AutoDesks Tutorials page

Carlson Survey tutorial: ThatCADGirl tutorials

Different Survey Types: See brief here.

road work aerial surveying with a drone
A drone conducts an aerial survey of a road work site in Florida

Looking to apply?

Our company specializes in aerial surveying and mapping using drones. We pride ourselves on great company culture and robust training to allow our employees to succeed. Anyone interested in a Survey CAD Technician job should contact us below.

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