you ever drawn someone a map of how to get to your house? Was it
accurate enough so the person did not get lost? Imagine how difficult
it is to make a real map, showing the hills and valleys in the land,
making sure that everything shown is in the right relationship to
everything around it.
Mapping topographic detail is part of the job of a geomatics technologist
or technician. As a geomatics technologist or technician, you could
specialize in hydrography, photogrammetry, remote sensing, control
surveys, geographic information systems (GIS), site improvements
surveys, construction and engineering surveys, global positioning
surveys, cartography and mapping.
You might conduct field surveys in association with professional
engineers or professional land surveyors. Using modern surveying
and mapping instruments and equipment, you collect, interpret and
record information about specific geographic areas and their features.
You may also be heavily involved in engineering and construction
As a geomatics technologist or technician, you use a variety
of manual and electronic surveying equipment to:
- Stake out buildings and other structures such as bridges, dams,
tunnels, refineries and other engineering works
- Make calculations and field layouts of horizontal, vertical
and spiral curves when conducting detailed surveys on projects
such as highways, urban streets and railways
- Conduct underground, open pit and tunnel surveys, and produce
plans from these surveys
- Do hydrographic surveys to control shoreline and off-shore subsurface
contours, and to determine watersheds
- Prepare detailed drawings, charts, plans, survey notes and reports
- Extract surveying and specific 'user-defined' information from
- Use receivers to monitor earth orbiting satellites to determine
Where Will You Work?
Employment opportunities may be found throughout the world and
are offered in many disciplines. You could find yourself in private
enterprise, various levels of government, surveying and engineering
firms, oil and gas industry or offshore surveying.
You usually work in a team environment with engineers, surveyors
and other techs. You work indoors, often using computers to compile
and analyze data, and outdoors, conducting surveys and supervising
the activities of technicians. You should have an interest in
all-weather hiking and/or climbing to be best suited for fieldwork.
Travel is a big factor, unless you have a position with a local
Related occupations include civil technologist, mining technologist,
forest resources technologist, city planner, draftsperson, computer
operator/programmer and instrument technician.
How Much Will You Earn?
How Does the Future Look?
The employment outlook is expected to be above average. With
the rapid changes in technology, the outlook for geomatics is
both exciting and challenging, and should provide a rewarding
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in English, mathematics,
physics, computers and earth sciences.
What Will You Need?
To pursue this career you must be able to think visually about
geometric forms, and you must be able to perceive pertinent detail
in objects and drawings. You need to be in good physical condition,
and have good motor coordination and finger dexterity.
You should enjoy working with equipment and instruments at tasks
requiring precision, analyzing information and finding innovative
solutions to problems, taking a methodical approach to work and
supervising and coordinating the work of others
Post Secondary Possibilities
- Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science
Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check
www.asttbc.org for updates
on accredited programs.
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other
sources of information applicable to education options for this
- Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.
- The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and
provides links to career information that will be of interest
to students pursuing a career in technology.