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: Geodetic Advisor, Professor, Survey Director
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Compute, retrace, or adjust existing surveys of features such as highway alignments, property boundaries, utilities, control and other surveys to match the ground elevation-dependent grids, geodetic grids, or property boundaries and to ensure accuracy and continuity of data used in engineering, surveying, or construction projects.
- Prepare progress or technical reports.
- Determine orientation of tracts of land, including position, boundaries, size, and shape, using theodolites, electronic distance-measuring equipment, satellite-based positioning equipment, land information systems, or other geodetic survey equipment.
- Distribute compiled geodetic data to government agencies or the general public.
- Review existing standards, controls, or equipment used, recommending changes or upgrades as needed.
- Provide training and interpretation in the use of methods or procedures for observing and checking controls for geodetic and plane coordinates.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Desktop computers
- 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
- Height gauges — Altimeters
- Level sensors or transmitters — Transit levels
- Levels — Laser levels
- Magnetometer geophysical instruments — Surveying gradiometers
- Measuring tables — Alidades
- Metal detectors — Magnetic locaters
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Power saws — Chain saws
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems
- Rangefinders — Hypsometers; Laser rangefinders
- Seismic recorders or seismographs — Seismic activity recorders
- 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 (see all 7 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Carlson Civil; MicroSurvey Software MicroSurvey CAD (see all 6 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software; ESRI ArcView; SiteComp Survey; Trimble Terramodel (see all 8 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
- 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.
- 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.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- 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.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare operational reports.
- Verify mathematical calculations.
- Calculate geographic positions from survey data.
- Gather physical survey data.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Update technical knowledge.
- Direct surveying activities.
- Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
- Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
- Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
- Maintain operational records or records systems.
- Explain project details to the general public.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 71% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 54% responded “Very important.”
- Contact With Others — 50% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 54% responded “Important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 46% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 67% responded “40 hours.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 46% responded “High responsibility.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 29% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 33% responded “Very important.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 33% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Standing — 33% responded “About half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 29% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 38% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
|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, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|13||High school diploma or equivalent|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
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.
- 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.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Surveyors.
Employment data collected from Surveyors.
Industry data collected from Surveyors.
|Median wages (2014)||$27.43 hourly, $57,050 annual|
|Employment (2014)||44,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||13,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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 . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.