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Career and Education Opportunities for Survey Technicians in Pasadena, California

For those living in the Pasadena, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for survey technicians. About 4,100 people are currently employed as survey technicians in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 12% to 4,600 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for survey technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.4% over the next eight years. In general, survey 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.

The income of a survey technician is about $26 per hour or $55,900 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $35,120 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Surveying, people working as survey technicians in California earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Surveying nationally. Jobs in this field include: surveyor helper, chain person, and surveying crew stake runner.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Pasadena where you can study to be a survey technician, among 210 schools of higher education total in the Pasadena area. The most common level of education for survey technicians is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a survey technician if you already have a high school diploma.


Survey Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, survey 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.

Survey technicians adjust and operate surveying instruments such as prisms and electronic distance-measuring equipment. They also maintain equipment and vehicles used by surveying crews. Equally important, survey technicians have to perform manual labor, such as cutting brush for lines and other heavy items, and stacking rods. They are often called upon to collect data needed to carry out new surveys using source maps, previous survey data and other relevant data. They are expected to place and hold measuring tapes when electronic distance-measuring equipment is not used. Finally, survey technicians operate and oversee land-information computer systems, performing tasks such as storing data and producing plots and reports.

Every day, survey technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for survey technicians to position and hold the vertical rods, or targets, that theodolite operators use for sighting to measure angles and elevations. They are often called upon to direct and supervise work of subordinate members of surveying parties. They also conduct surveys to ascertain the locations of natural features and man-made structures on the Earth's surface and underwater using electronic distance-measuring equipment and other surveying instruments. Somewhat less frequently, survey technicians are also expected to run rods for benches and cross-section elevations.

and perform calculations to establish earth curvature corrections, atmospheric impacts on measurements, traverse closures and adjustments and placement of markers. And finally, they sometimes have to compare survey computations with applicable standards to establish adequacy of data.

Like many other jobs, survey technicians must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pasadena include:

  • Cartographer. Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Surveying Technician. Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.
  • Surveyor. Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for engineering, mapmaking, and other purposes.


College of the Canyons - Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1899. College of the Canyons is a large college located in Santa Clarita, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,474 students. College of the Canyons has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying.


ACSM Hydrographer Certification: ACSM - THSOA Hydrographer Certification is well-recognized and considered by many Federal, State and local agencies as well as private firms, seeking subcontractors when evaluating technical proposals for marine engineering, surveying, and construction.

For more information, see the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - National Society of Professional Surveyors website.

Certified Survey Technician: This four-level certification program for surveying technicians throughout the United States indicates official recognition by NSPS-ACSM that a person has demonstrated that he or she is minimally competent to perform surveying tasks at a specified technical level.

For more information, see the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - National Society of Professional Surveyors website.

Certified Photogrammetric Techonologist: This certification is designed for technicians who perform or supervises technical photogrammetric tasks to extract spatial data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Certified GIS/LIS Technologist: This is certification is for technicians who integrate a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Highway Surveys: This certification program is for engineering technicians involved in field and/or office aspects of highway surveying.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pasadena, California

Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California photo by Morgoth666

Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 143,080, which has grown by 6.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pasadena, 167, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Pasadena are priced at $298,000 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, thirty-nine new homes were constructed in Pasadena, down from one hundred thirty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Pasadena are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 41.3% of Pasadena residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pasadena is 9.7%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Pasadena residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Pasadena Church of God, All Saints Episcopal Church and Grace United Methodist Church are among the churches located in Pasadena. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Pasadena is home to the Annandale Golf Course and the Hill Avenue Branch Pasadena Public Library as well as Victory Park and Lower Arroyo Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hastings Ranch Plaza Shopping Center, Hastings Ranch Shopping Center and Plaza Pasadena Shopping Center. Visitors to Pasadena can choose from Best Western Pasadena Inn, Best Western Colorado Inn Pasa and Astro Motel Pasadena for temporary stays in the area.