Mapping Technicians
SOC: 17-3031.02


Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
57,300 employed

Projected (2024):
52,900 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:

  • Aerial Photograph Interpreter
  • Aerotriangulation Specialist
  • Assessment Technician
  • CAD Technician (Computer Aided Design Technician)
  • Cartographic Aide
  • Cartographic Drafter
  • Cartographic Technician
  • Cartography/Mapping Technician
  • Drafting Technician
  • Draftsman
  • Field Map Technician
  • Geodetic Computator
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • Map Compiler
  • Map Drafter
  • Map Editor
  • Mapping Editor
  • Mapping Specialist
  • Mapping Supervisor
  • Mapping Technician
  • Mosaicist
  • Photogrammetric Compilation Specialist
  • Photogrammetric Stereo Compiler
  • Photogrammetric Technician
  • Plane Tableman
  • Stereo Compiler
  • Stereo Map Plotter Operator
  • Stereo Plotter Operator
  • Stereoplotter Operator
  • Survey and Mapping Technician
  • Tax Map Technician
  • Technical Illustrations Map Inker
  • Topographic Computator
  • Topographical Drafter

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    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
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • 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
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • 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:

  • Check all layers of maps to ensure accuracy, identifying and marking errors and making corrections.
  • Determine scales, line sizes, or colors to be used for hard copies of computerized maps, using plotters.
  • Monitor mapping work or the updating of maps to ensure accuracy, the inclusion of new or changed information, or compliance with rules and regulations.
  • Identify and compile database information to create maps in response to requests.
  • Produce or update overlay maps to show information boundaries, water locations, or topographic features on various base maps or at different scales.
  • Trace contours or topographic details to generate maps that denote specific land or property locations or geographic attributes.
  • Lay out and match aerial photographs in sequences in which they were taken and identify any areas missing from photographs.
  • Compare topographical features or contour lines with images from aerial photographs, old maps, or other reference materials to verify the accuracy of their identification.
  • Compute and measure scaled distances between reference points to establish relative positions of adjoining prints and enable the creation of photographic mosaics.
  • Research resources such as survey maps or legal descriptions to verify property lines or to obtain information needed for mapping.
  • Form three-dimensional images of aerial photographs taken from different locations, using mathematical techniques and plotting instruments.
  • Enter Global Positioning System (GPS) data, legal deeds, field notes, or land survey reports into geographic information system (GIS) workstations so that information can be transformed into graphic land descriptions, such as maps or drawings.
  • Analyze aerial photographs to detect and interpret significant military, industrial, resource, or topographical data.
  • Redraw or correct maps, such as revising parcel maps, to reflect tax code area changes, using information from official records or surveys.
  • Train staff members in duties such as tax mapping, the use of computerized mapping equipment, or the interpretation of source documents.
  • Research and combine existing property information to describe property boundaries in relation to adjacent properties, taking into account parcel splits, combinations, or land boundary adjustments.
  • Supervise or coordinate activities of workers engaged in plotting data, drafting maps, or producing blueprints, photostats, or photographs.
  • Create survey description pages or historical records related to the mapping activities or specifications of section plats.
  • Calculate latitudes, longitudes, angles, areas, or other information for mapmaking, using survey field notes or reference tables.
  • Identify, research, and resolve anomalies in legal land descriptions, referring issues to title or survey experts as appropriate.
  • Answer questions and provide information to the public or to staff members regarding assessment maps, surveys, boundaries, easements, property ownership, roads, zoning, or similar matters.
  • Trim, align, and join prints to form photographic mosaics, maintaining scaled distances between reference points.
  • Produce presentations of surface or mineral ownership layers by interpreting legal survey plans.
  • Design or develop information databases that include geographic or topographic data.
  • Complete detailed source and method notes describing the location of routine or complex land parcels.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Digitizers
  • Drafting compasses
  • Drafting kits
  • Drafting templates
  • Engineering scales
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Laser printers
  • Notebook computers
  • Personal computers
  • Plotters
  • Pocket personal computers PC
  • Protractors
  • Scanners
  • T-squares
  • Tablet computers
  • Triangles
  • 3D Nature LLC Visual Nature Studio
  • 3D Nature LLC World Construction Set
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Freehand
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Writer
  • Autodesk 3d Studio Viz
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Blue Sky
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk AutoCAD MAP3D
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Autodesk Land Desktop
  • Bentley GeoPak Bridge
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • CARIS software
  • Carlson SurvCADD
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Database software
  • Digital elevation model DEM software
  • ESRI ArcCatalog
  • ESRI ArcEditor
  • ESRI ArcGIS (analytical or scientific feature)
  • ESRI ArcGIS (map creation feature)
  • ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcToolbox
  • ESRI ArcView
  • ESRI ArcView 3D Analyst
  • ESRI Maplex
  • ESRI MapObjects
  • ESRI Personal Geodatabase
  • Graphics software
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Intergraph software
  • JavaScript
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Leica photogrammetry suite LPS software
  • MapInfo software
  • Mapping software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript
  • MicroSurvey software
  • Oracle software
  • PCI Geomatics eCognition
  • PCI Geomatics software
  • QuarkXpress Passport
  • RockWare ArcMap
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Trimble GPS Pathfinder
  • Trimble GPS software
  • Trimble TerraSync
  • Tripod Data Systems COGO
  • Web browser software

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980