Mine surveying technician

A mine surveying technician


Mine surveying technicians conduct boundary and topographic surveys and surveys of the progress of mining operations. They operate surveying equipment and utilise programs to retrieve and interpret relevant data, and perform computations as required.

Includes people working on the surface or underground.

Mine surveying technicians typically do the following:

  • Search, locate and recover existing survey markers, including stones and property irons, and set out stakes and other markers
  • Compile and verify preexisting data from photographs, previous surveys, maps, deeds, legal descriptions and other sources
  • Lay out grids and position rods, operate measuring instruments, including theodolites, prisms and electronic tools
  • Record data using electronic devices, image-capturing software, drawings and detailed notes, and double-check for accuracy
  • Inventory and maintain equipment for use by survey party, including vehicles, electronics and brush-cutting tools
  • Use a plotter to accurately plot data and Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software to create technical drawings for topographical and boundary surveys
  • Work in collaboration with other members of the survey party, taking direction from the lead surveyor and instructing and assisting subordinates but working independently when needed
  • Clear brush and transport tools and materials over uneven terrain, and retrieve stakes, rebar and other miscellaneous materials from the site at the end of each project

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to mine surveying technician:

assistant mine surveyor
assistant surveyor
surveyors assistant
mine investigator
mine survey linesman
mine technician
mine cartographer
mine survey lineswoman
mine surveyors assistant

Working conditions

Most surveying technicians work for firms that provide engineering, surveying, and mapping services on a contractual basis. Local governments also employ these workers in highway and planning departments.

Mine surveying technicians work outside extensively and can be exposed to all types of weather. They often stand for long periods, walk considerable distances, and may have to climb hills with heavy packs of surveying instruments. Traveling is sometimes part of the job, and mine surveying technicians may commute long distances, stay away from home overnight, or temporarily relocate near a survey site.

Work Schedules

Mine surveying technicians typically work full time but may work additional hours during the summer, when weather and light conditions are most suitable for fieldwork. Construction-related work may be limited during times of harsh weather.

Minimum qualifications

Mine surveying technicians generally need a high school diploma, but some have postsecondary training in survey technology. An associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as geomatics, is beneficial.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Mine surveying technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Mine surveying technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to mine surveying technician.

air pollution analyst
desalination technician
mine shift manager
mine safety officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of mine surveying technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of mine surveying technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

mine surveyor
cadastral technician
mine health and safety engineer
mine mechanical engineer
mining geotechnical engineer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of mine surveying technician.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of mine surveying technician.

  • Record survey measurements: Gather and process descriptive data by using documents such as sketches, drawings and notes.
  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Delineate area with marks: Set out and recover documentation such as marks or stakes to be used in surveying.
  • Maintain records of mining operations: Maintain records of mine production and development performance, including performance of machinery.
  • Perform surveying calculations: Perform calculations and gather technical data in order to determine earth curvature corrections, traverse adjustments and closures, level runs, azimuths, marker placements, etc.
  • Monitor equipment: Monitoring equipment implies watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Operate surveying instruments: Operate and adjust measuring instruments such as theodolites and prisms, and other electronic distance-measuring tools.
  • Compare survey computations: Determine the accuracy of data by comparing computations with applicable standards.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of mine surveying technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Impact of geological factors on mining operations: Be aware of the impact of geological factors, such as faults and rock movements, on mining operations.
  • Geographic information systems: The tools involved in geographical mapping and positioning, such as GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing).
  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Health and safety hazards underground: The rules and risks affecting health and safety when working underground. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of mine surveying technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
  • Identify GIS issues: Highlight GIS-issues that require special attention. Report on these issues and their development on a regular basis.
  • Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.

ISCO group and title

3117 – Mining and metallurgical technicians

  1. Mine surveying technician – ESCO
  2. Surveying and Mapping Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Professional Surveying Technician Job Description Template – MightyRecruiter
  4. Featured image: Photo by Valeria Fursa on Unsplash
Last updated on January 24, 2023

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