Surveying/Mapping Technician

Surveying and mapping technicians assist cartographers and surveyors by collecting and using data to map the earth's terrain.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Surveying/Mapping Technician do?

Surveying and mapping technicians assist cartographers and surveyors by collecting and using data to map the earth's terrain.


Work activities

As a surveying technician, you would:

  • visit survey sites to take measurements of the land
  • gather and record survey data in the field
  • use and operate survey instruments to collect data
  • search out and use previous survey points, or set stakes to define survey points
  • enter gathered information into specialist computer software
  • mark all topographic features including forests, lakes, train lines, boundaries or power lines.

As a mapping technician, you would:

  • use geographic data to create maps.
  • select needed information from databases to create maps
  • edit and process images that have been collected by survey technicians or surveyors
  • analyse aerial photographs and take measurements from them
  • use specialised mapping software to create maps
  • produce maps showing boundaries, water locations, elevation, and other features of the terrain
  • update maps to ensure accuracy.

Key skills and interests

To become a surveying or mapping technician, you would need:

  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • normal colour vision
  • numeracy and IT skills
  • an ability to work neatly and methodically
  • good teamwork skills
  • good concentration
  • for a surveying technician, physical stamina.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a surveying or mapping technician you would work a standard number of hours per week.


Surveying technicians would be based in an office but spend time at project and surveying sites obtaining data. Experience of off-road driving may be useful.

Mapping technicians would work in an office environment, and spend most of their time working at a computer, using specialist software.


How to become an Surveying/Mapping Technician?

Entry Level Education

To become a surveying or mapping technician you could complete a VET qualification in spatial information services or surveying. Typically, employers now look for graduates with a bachelor's degree in land surveying, engineering & mining surveying, cartography, hydrography, remote sensing or spatial information science.

To get into these courses you would usually need to have gained your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, maths, geography and physics would be appropriate subjects to study at school.

Graduates may be eligible for membership of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of surveying and mapping technicians is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Recent advancements in mapping technology have led to new uses for maps and a need for more of the data used to build maps. As a result, employment prospects for surveying and mapping technicians are expected to be positive.


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