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Career and Education Opportunities for Surveying Technicians in Laramie, Wyoming

If you want to be a surveying technician, the Laramie, Wyoming area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 260 people are currently employed as surveying technicians in Wyoming. By 2016, this is expected to grow 33% to about 350 people employed. This is better than the national trend for surveying technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 20.4% over the next eight years. In general, surveying technicians calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

Surveying technicians earn about $17 per hour or $37,140 annually on average in Wyoming and about $16 hourly or $35,120 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Surveying, people working as surveying technicians in Wyoming earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Surveying nationally. Jobs in this field include: stereo plotter operator, photogrammetric stereo compiler, and technical illustrations map inker.

The Laramie area is home to two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Laramie where you can get a degree as a surveying technician. Surveying technicians usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying 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 Laramie 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.
  • 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

University of Wyoming - Laramie, WY

University of Wyoming, Corner of Ninth and Ivinson, Laramie, WY 82071. University of Wyoming is a large university located in Laramie, Wyoming. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,920 students and an admission rate of 96%. University of Wyoming has a less than one year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated seven 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: Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming photo by Decumanus

Laramie is located in Albany County, Wyoming. It has a population of over 27,523. The cost of living index in Laramie, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Laramie are priced at $156,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-six new homes were built in Laramie, down from one hundred thirteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laramie are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 12 minutes. More than 46.7% of Laramie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laramie is 3.8%, which is less than Wyoming's average of 6.8%. About 22.6% of Laramie's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Laramie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Shopping centers in the area include Campus Mall and Odd Fellows Shopping Center. Visitors to Laramie can choose from Holiday Inn, 1st Inn Gold and Woods Landing Store for temporary stays in the area.