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Jobs Outlook: Surveyors, Cartographers, Photogrammetrists & Surveying Technicians




Overall employment of Surveyors, cartographers, photogrammetrists, and surveying technicians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014. The widespread availability and use of advanced technologies, such as GPS, GIS, and remote sensing, will continue to increase both the accuracy and productivity of these workers, limiting job growth to some extent. However, job openings will continue to arise from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or who leave the labor force altogether. Many of the workers in these occupations are approaching retirement age.

Opportunities for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists should remain concentrated in architectural, engineering, and related services firms. Areas such as urban planning, emergency preparedness, and natural resource exploration and mapping also should provide employment growth, particularly with regard to producing maps for the management of emergencies and updating maps with the newly available technology. However, employment may fluctuate from year to year as a function of construction activity or with mapping needs for land and resource management.

Opportunities should be stronger for professional surveyors than for surveying and mapping technicians. Advancements in technology, such as total stations and GPS, have made surveying parties smaller than they were in the past. Opportunities for technicians should be available in basic GIS-related data-entry work. However, many persons possess the basic skills needed to qualify for these jobs, so applicants for technician jobs may face competition.

As technologies become more complex, opportunities will be best for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists who have a bachelorís degree and strong technical skills. Increasing demand for geographic data, as opposed to traditional surveying services, will mean better opportunities for cartographers and photogrammetrists who are involved in the development and use of geographic and land information systems. New technologies, such as GPS and GIS, also may enhance employment opportunities for surveyors, and for surveying technicians who have the educational background and who have acquired technical skills that enable them to work with the new systems. At the same time, upgraded licensing requirements will continue to limit opportunities for professional advancement for those without a bachelorís degree.