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Career and Education Opportunities for Surveyors in Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for surveyors. There are currently 5,900 working surveyors in California; this should grow 14% to 6,700 working surveyors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for surveyors are expected to grow by about 14.9%. In general, surveyors make exact measurements and determine property boundaries.

Surveyors earn about $35 per hour or $74,210 per year on average in California and about $25 per hour or $52,980 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Surveying, people working as surveyors in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Surveying nationally. Jobs in this field include: geophysical prospecting surveyor, railroad surveyor, and mine surveyor.

The Sacramento area is home to forty-two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Sacramento where you can get a degree as a surveyor. The most common level of education for surveyors is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a surveyor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Surveyor

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

In general, surveyors make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. They also 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.

Surveyors verify the precision of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites. They also design criteria for survey methods and procedures. Equally important, surveyors have to analyze survey objectives and specifications to ready survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation. They are often called upon to train assistants and helpers, and direct their activities in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps. They are expected to establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments. Finally, surveyors adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.

Every day, surveyors are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they deal with basic arithmetic problems.

It is important for surveyors to survey bodies of water to establish navigable channels and to secure data for building of breakwaters and other marine structures. They are often called upon to conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing. They also direct aerial surveys of specified geographical areas. They are sometimes expected to decide on requirements for photographic apparatus to be used for aerial photography, as well as altitudes from which to photograph terrain. Somewhat less frequently, surveyors are also expected to train assistants and helpers, and direct their activities in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.

Surveyors sometimes are asked to direct or conduct surveys to determine legal boundaries for properties, on the basis of legal deeds and titles. They also have to be able to decide on longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas using theodolites and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS) and locate and mark sites selected for geophysical prospecting efforts such as efforts to identify petroleum or other mineral products. And finally, they sometimes have to adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Sacramento 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.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • Survey Technician. Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
  • Surveying Technician. Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Surveyor Training

Sacramento City College - Sacramento, CA

Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95822-1386. Sacramento City College is a large college located in Sacramento, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,175 students. Sacramento City College has a less than one year and a two to four year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated five and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

Geographical Information Systems Professional: The GISP certification program was founded on the principle that real-world work experience combined with education and professional association activities could serve as a proxy for a comprehensive exam on the basics of geographic information science and technology (GIS&T).

For more information, see the GIS Certification Institute 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.

LICENSES

Land Surveyor

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95833-2944

Phone: (916) 263-2222
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

Land Surveyor In Training (L.S.I.T.)

Licensing agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
Address: Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors, 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95833-2944

Phone: (916) 263-2222
Website: Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Sacramento, California

Sacramento, California
Sacramento, California photo by Urdangaray

Sacramento is located in Sacramento County, California. It has a population of over 463,794, which has grown by 13.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Sacramento, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Sacramento are valued at $185,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, nine hundred thirty-four new homes were constructed in Sacramento, down from 1,337 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Sacramento are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 23.9% of Sacramento residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Sacramento is 14.7%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Sacramento residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Pearly Gate Missionary Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Parkview Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Sacramento. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Assemblies of God.

Sacramento is home to the Southern Pacific Shops and the Bing Maloney Golf Course as well as Alkali Flat North Historic District and Silva Field. Shopping centers in the area include Farmers Center Shopping Center, Florin Square Shopping Center and Franklin and Florin Shopping Center. Visitors to Sacramento can choose from Best Western Sutter House, Best for Less Motel-Cababa Lodge and AAA Residence Inn for temporary stays in the area.