What Does A Survey Technician Do?

When it comes to getting accurate measurements about land, surveyors work together with survey technicians. Whether the task entails collecting data about a particular site, looking for old markers or establishing boundary lines, survey technicians know the knowledge, tools and technology to use to get the job done. An integral member of a survey party, the expertise of surveyors and survey technicians may be needed by local governments, real estate companies and construction firms to measure certain areas or parcels of land.

In a typical day on the job, survey technicians bring their specialized equipment and tools to the site that they will be working on. They would then put up stakes and marks so they can start the survey process. They also turn on their electronic equipment that can measure distance so they can begin to gather data about the site. They would then start crunching numbers and making calculations while on the field. While technology has greatly simplified the process of getting measurements, survey technicians still have to be a whiz at making these computations manually since it enables them to double check on the data given by their electronic gadgets. It allows them to proceed with their work even if their computers will fail.

Survey technicians today strive to have some background on geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) as these are vital in their work. While the surveyors who head the survey party are the ones who interpret the GPS results, being knowledgeable about this technology will help survey technicians do their job more efficiently. Geographic information systems (GIS) technicians are specially trained technicians who are certified in the use of GIS technology to put together and produce information about a particular topographical site digitally. They are also responsible for updating the databases for all GIS devices.

Survey technicians also note interesting features about a topographical site. They then include these descriptions in their reports as it provides a clearer view about the location. It’s important to understand that not all plots of land that they will be taking measurements in will be vacant. Many of them will already have structures like houses, fences or roads built on the area. This makes the work of surveying technicians more challenging since they will have to factor in these properties as well. Thankfully, highly-specialized tools have made the work less daunting.

Another challenge that survey technicians have to deal with in their job is when they have to locate old markers that used to designate boundaries in previous surveys. These markers are important when boundaries need to be reestablished or when zoning restrictions need to be followed. Survey technicians use various methods and strategies to identify the location of old markers.

After the survey has been carried out, survey technicians then type in their data in computers so that these can be promptly processed. Under the direction of the survey party chief, they come up with reports about the findings. They would then submit their report to the organization or government agency that ordered the survey. They are also prepared to answer any questions about their survey. For surveys done in behalf of a government, the findings are usually made available to the public through their offices upon request or through their website.

When the work that needs to be surveyed involves roads where cars pass in regularly, survey technicians are responsible for keeping the traffic flowing while protecting themselves at the same time as they obtain their measurements. This is because when survey parties do their work on roads, they still have to set up their equipment so that they can obtain accurate measurements. Unless the appropriate traffic control and safety devices have been put up, an accident is bound to happen. Survey technicians need to plan out the work in these places very carefully so that they stay safe and the motorists don’t get hampered.

Travel is often part and parcel of this job. They go to remote and urban places alike and can be expected to work in all kinds of weather. They may also be required to walk long distances during their surveys so they must also be physically fit and healthy.

Career Spotlight: Survey Technician

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