Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
17-1022.01 - Geodetic Surveyors

Measure large areas of the Earth's surface using satellite observations, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), light detection and ranging (LIDAR), or related sources.

Sample of reported job titles: Professor, Geodetic Advisor, Survey Director

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Analyze control or survey data to ensure adherence to project specifications or land survey standards.
  • Calculate the exact horizontal and vertical position of points on the earth's surface.
  • Verify the mathematical correctness of newly collected survey data.
  • Plan or direct the work of geodetic surveying staff, providing technical consultation as needed.
  • Assess the quality of control data to determine the need for additional survey data for engineering, construction, or other projects.
  • Maintain databases of geodetic and related information including coordinate, descriptive, or quality assurance data.
  • Conduct surveys to determine exact positions, measurement of points, elevations, lines, areas, volumes, contours, or other features of land surfaces.
  • Compute horizontal and vertical coordinates of control networks using direct leveling or other geodetic survey techniques such as triangulation, trilateration, and traversing to establish features of the earth's surface.
  • Request additional survey data when field collection errors occur or engineering surveying specifications are not maintained.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in technology, equipment, or systems.

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Global positioning system GPS receiver — Dual-frequency global positioning system GPS survey units; Global positioning system GPS receivers
Gravimeters — Absolute gravimeters; Gravitational field indicators; Relative gravimeters
Rangefinders — Hypsometers; Laser rangefinders
Soil core sampling apparatus — Cone penetration test probes; Wireline samplers
Theodolites — Mechanical theodolites; Robotic total stations; Survey levels

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Carlson Simplicity "Sight" Survey; National Geodetic Survey NGS VERTCON *; QuickCogo software; Underhill Geomatics Copan *
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Carlson Civil; MicroSurvey Software MicroSurvey CAD
Electronic mail software — Email software
Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software; ESRI ArcView; SiteComp Survey; Trimble Terramodel
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

back to top

Knowledge

Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

back to top

Skills

Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

back to top

Abilities

Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

back to top

Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

back to top

Work Context

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
71   Bachelor's degree
13   High school diploma or equivalent Help
  Post-baccalaureate certificate Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Surveying Engineering

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

back to top

Interests

Interest code: ICR

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

back to top

Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

back to top

Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

back to top

Related Occupations

13-1081.02 Logistics Analysts   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook   Green Occupation
17-1022.00 Surveyors
17-3025.00 Environmental Engineering Technicians Green Occupation
17-3031.01 Surveying Technicians
19-1031.01 Soil and Water Conservationists   Green Occupation Green
19-2042.00 Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers Green Occupation
19-4041.01 Geophysical Data Technicians Green Occupation
19-4041.02 Geological Sample Test Technicians Green Occupation
19-4091.00 Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health Green Occupation
19-4099.02 Precision Agriculture Technicians Bright Outlook Green Occupation

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Surveyors.
Employment data collected from Surveyors.
Industry data collected from Surveyors.

Median wages (2013) $27.21 hourly, $56,590 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 42,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 13,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Surveyors external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

back to top