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Career and Education Opportunities for Surveying Technicians in St. Paul, Minnesota

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for surveying technicians in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. About 1,970 people are currently employed as surveying technicians in Minnesota. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 10% to about 2,180 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for surveying technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.4% over the next eight years. Surveying technicians generally calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

Surveying technicians earn about $21 per hour or $44,460 yearly on average in Minnesota and about $16 per hour or $35,120 yearly on average nationally. 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. People working as surveying technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: map editor, photogrammetric stereo compiler, and plane tableman.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can study to be a surveying technician, among seventy-seven schools of higher education total in the St. Paul area. Given that the most common education level for surveying technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, 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 St. Paul 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: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.