Geodetic Surveyors
SOC: 17-1022.01


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

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
44,300 employed

Projected (2024):
43,400 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "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.

Alternate Titles:

  • Digital Measurement Advisor
  • Geodesist
  • Geodetic Advisor
  • Geodetic Computator
  • Geodetic Surveyor Technologist
  • Geodetic Technician
  • Geographic Information System Surveyor (GIS Surveyor)
  • LIDAR Technician (Light Detection and Ranging Technician)
  • Measurement Advisor
  • Measurement and Sensing Technician
  • Professor
  • Remote Advisor
  • Remote Sensing Advisor
  • Remote Sensing Surveyor
  • Survey Director
  • Survey Technologist

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    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.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • 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.
  • Plan or direct the work of geodetic surveying staff, providing technical consultation as needed.
  • Distribute compiled geodetic data to government agencies or the general public.
  • 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.
  • Verify the mathematical correctness of newly collected survey data.
  • Request additional survey data when field collection errors occur or engineering surveying specifications are not maintained.
  • Prepare progress or technical reports.
  • Maintain databases of geodetic and related information including coordinate, descriptive, or quality assurance data.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Calculate the exact horizontal and vertical position of points on the earth's surface.
  • Analyze control or survey data to ensure adherence to project specifications or land survey standards.
  • Assess the quality of control data to determine the need for additional survey data for engineering, construction, or other projects.
  • 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.
  • Conduct surveys to determine exact positions, measurement of points, elevations, lines, areas, volumes, contours, or other features of land surfaces.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Absolute gravimeters
  • Alidades
  • Altimeters
  • Chain saws
  • Clinometers
  • Cone penetration test probes
  • Desktop computers
  • Dual-frequency global positioning system GPS survey units
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Gravitational field indicators
  • Hypsometers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems
  • Laser levels
  • Laser rangefinders
  • Machetes
  • Magnetic locaters
  • Mechanical theodolites
  • Personal computers
  • Picks
  • Relative gravimeters
  • Robotic total stations
  • Seismic activity recorders
  • Shovels
  • Survey levels
  • Surveying gradiometers
  • Transit levels
  • Wireline samplers
  • Advanced Graphics Technology ProCogo
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Autodesk CAiCE Visual Transportation software
  • Bentley Microstation
  • Carlson Civil
  • Carlson Simplicity "Sight" Survey
  • CMT CogoCAD
  • Email software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Geo-Plus software
  • Geocomp Systems GeoCalc
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • MicroSurvey Software MicroSurvey CAD
  • National Geodetic Survey NGS Geodetic Toolkit
  • National Geodetic Survey NGS VERTCON
  • QuickCogo software
  • SiteComp Survey
  • Traverse PC software
  • Trimble Terramodel
  • Underhill Geomatics Copan
  • Virtual reality modeling language VRML software
  • Web browser software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980