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Career and Education Opportunities for Surveying Technicians in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Surveying technicians can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. There are currently 1,970 working surveying technicians in Minnesota; this should grow by 10% to about 2,180 working surveying technicians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for surveying technicians are expected to grow by about 20.4%. In general, surveying technicians calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

The income of a surveying technician is about $21 per hour or $44,460 yearly on average in Minnesota. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 hourly or $35,120 yearly on average. Earnings for surveying technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Surveying in Minnesota and not quite as good as general Surveying category earnings nationally. Surveying technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: photogrammetric compilation specialist, mapping supervisor, and topographical drafter.

There are eighty schools of higher education in the Minneapolis area, including three within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can get a degree to start your career as a surveying technician. Surveying technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so it will take about two years to learn to be a surveying technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Surveying Technician

In general, surveying technicians calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

Surveying technicians trace contours and topographic details to generate maps that denote specific land and property locations and geographic attributes. They also produce and update overlay maps to show data boundaries and topographic features on various base maps and at different scales. Finally, surveying technicians compare topographical features and contour lines with images from aerial photographs and other reference materials to confirm the precision of their identification.

Every day, surveying technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to prioritize information for further consideration.

It is important for surveying technicians to monitor mapping work and the updating of maps to insure accuracy, the inclusion of new or changed data, and adherence to rules and regulations. They are often called upon to identify and compile database data to generate maps in response to requests. They also check all layers of maps to insure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections. They are sometimes expected to decide on scales and colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters. Somewhat less frequently, surveying technicians are also expected to redraw and correct maps.

They also have to be able to form three-dimensional images of aerial photographs taken from different locations, using mathematical techniques and plotting instruments and identify and resolve anomalies in legal land descriptions, referring issues to title and survey experts as appropriate. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and direct efforts of staff working on plotting data or producing blueprints, photostats, and photographs.

Like many other jobs, surveying technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Minneapolis 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Surveying Technician Training

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College - Saint Paul, MN

Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College, 235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102-9808. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,388 students. Saint Paul College - A Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated nine students in 2008.

Anoka-Ramsey Community College - Coon Rapids, MN

Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 11200 Mississippi Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433-3470. Anoka-Ramsey Community College is a medium sized college located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,253 students. Anoka-Ramsey Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Cartography which graduated two and four students respectively in 2008.

Dunwoody College of Technology - Minneapolis, MN

Dunwoody College of Technology, 818 Dunwoody Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1192. Dunwoody College of Technology is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,611 students and an admission rate of 68%. Dunwoody College of Technology has a less than one year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.