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Career and Education Opportunities for Survey Technicians in Denton, Texas

If you want to be a survey technician, the Denton, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 9,710 jobs for survey technicians in Texas and this is projected to grow by 22% to about 11,800 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for survey technicians are expected to grow by about 20.4%. 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.

A person working as a survey technician can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $30,170 yearly on average in Texas and about $16 hourly or $35,120 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for survey technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Surveying in Texas and not quite as good as general Surveying category earnings nationally. Survey technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: surveyor rod helper, land surveyor, and geophysical party chief.

The Denton area is home to twenty-seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Denton where you can get a degree as a survey technician. Given that the most common education level 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.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Survey Technician

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 Denton 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Survey Technician Training

The University of Texas at Dallas - Richardson, TX

The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080-3021. The University of Texas at Dallas is a large university located in Richardson, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,940 students and an admission rate of 54%. The University of Texas at Dallas has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Cartography which graduated eighteen and sixteen students respectively 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: Denton, Texas

Denton, Texas
Denton, Texas photo by Nv8200p

Denton is located in Denton County, Texas. It has a population of over 119,454, which has grown by 48.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Denton, 92, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Denton are priced at $265,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-eight new homes were constructed in Denton, down from seven hundred eighty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denton are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.5% of Denton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Denton is 6.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Denton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Church and Central Baptist Church are among the churches located in Denton. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Denton is home to the Denton County Courthouse and the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum as well as Phoenix Park and Evers Park. Visitors to Denton can choose from Best Western Denton Inn and Clayton House Motel for temporary stays in the area.