Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Land survey technicians and technologists conduct or participate in surveys to determine the exact locations and relative positions of natural features and other structures on the earth's surface, underground and underwater. They are employed by all levels of government, architectural and engineering firms, and by private sector surveying establishments.
- Find they are unable to complete assigned tasks due to bad weather, equipment breakdowns and other unexpected circumstances. For example, they discover they have incomplete project files or missing drawings. They identify the quickest way to get the information. They may ask on-site supervisors for drawings or call their offices to get the data over the phone. (1)
- Face difficulties exchanging data between software programs. They call software technicians to troubleshoot the problems and reschedule their activities until the data is available. (1)
- Face safety problems such as heavier traffic volumes than expected, thus making it difficult to complete surveys safely without additional field crew. They call their supervisor to request additional field crew members. (2)
- Receive complaints from clients about property damages such as grass removed to dig and place survey monuments during surveying projects. They speak with clients to determine what kind of repairs would be satisfactory. (2)
- Discover that survey monuments are missing or inaccurate. They review evidence in survey field notes and on properties to determine prior survey points for re-establishing property lines. If that fails, they call their supervisors for further instructions. (3)
- Encounter hostile owners who do not want them on their property. If they fail to gain access after explaining why they are there, they locate alternative survey posts to survey the properties. They call their supervisors if they still need access to the properties to complete their work. (3)
- Discover discrepancies in survey drawings such as inaccurate lot sizing on engineering drawings. For example, a land survey technologist finds that the combined frontage length of all the lots is larger than the actual length of the subdivision. He refers to zoning bylaws, such as frontage and set back requirements, to resize the lots to fit the subdivision measurements and submits the drawings for approval. (3)
- Decide when to carry out survey activities in the field. They consider the coverage and accuracy provided by the global positioning systems at different times of the day, the weather and equipment availability. Errors in decisions can result in the inability to gather the necessary data. (2)
- Decide what surveying methods and instruments to use. They consider the size of the areas, the terrain and level of measurement accuracy required. For example, they decide the placement of equipment to maximize the number of readings at each location while minimizing the number of equipment set-ups. If they choose the wrong equipment placement and instruments, they may not get suitable data. (2)
- Decide data collection procedures. For example, they decide the positioning of equipment to get the most accurate coordinate readings. They make decisions on where to run control lines and temporary locator points in new subdivisions to minimize the amount of bush to be removed, the number of equipment moves and coordinate readings. They constantly revise their decisions to respond to field crew requests for coordinate and measurement adjustments. How and where they collect readings directly affects surveying efficiency and the quality of the final survey plans. (3)
- Decide when they have enough corresponding evidence between coordinate readings and survey plans to draw conclusions about locations of boundary lines. (3)
- Decide to use existing survey markers and monuments for new surveys. They review evidence such as physical features surrounding survey monuments, field notes and coordinate readings to decide that survey monuments are in their original location. They risk getting inaccurate field data, requiring additional time in the field, if they err in their decisions. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate the quality and completeness of survey measurements and data readings. They use established criteria such as the measurement procedures used, allowable degree of errors and consistency of data. (2)
- Evaluate the quality and authenticity of survey evidence when completing boundary line retracement and when confirming existing boundary lines. They consider how different evidence such as physical characteristics, field notes, survey plans and other historical information provide corresponding information. They must be able to justify their lines of reasoning used to draw their conclusions. (3)
- Evaluate the safety of surveying situations such as working beside busy highways, surveying in isolated areas to choose the best method to safely complete surveying tasks. They consider criteria such as the risks, experience and knowledge of the crew, type of available equipment, type of terrain and allowable margin of error for the measurements. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Land survey technicians' and technologists' days are organized for them by their supervisors, or they schedule their own activities if they are self-employed. They perform their tasks according to the instructions and deadlines given by their supervisors. Their daily assignments vary in scope, location and size but the duties and tasks remain constant, dictated by established procedures. Many tasks, such as taking measurements and coordinate readings, preparing field notes, completing survey plans, reviewing drawings and boundary line evidences are repeated daily and weekly. They experience occasional interruptions to respond to unscheduled requests from supervisors who reassign tasks or jobs. Their work is team-oriented and they integrate their own tasks with other field crew. (2)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Senior land survey technologists often directly schedule the tasks and activities of field crew based on the job and crew expertise. They may plan and organize the work and activities for large surveying projects with multiple field crews. (2)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember field details until they can record them into notebooks.
- Remember which equipment worked best in the past in similar terrain.
- Remember commonly used codes to denote items found in the field.
- Remember the safety procedures to follow when working in remote areas.
- Remember the general location of temporary traverse points to locate them a month later.
- Look up survey job locations on maps. (1)
- Refer to coordinate data lists, existing survey plans, field notes, land titles and deeds from land registry websites to locate existing survey monuments and verify existing survey measurements when completing surveys. (2)
- Find boundary line evidence in various documents such as previous surveys, land titles, affidavits, field notes, site visits and other historical information. They may obtain the information from various sources such as local archives, hardcopy and photocopy surveys and field notes on file and from other survey offices and specialized websites. They use the information as evidence to confirm the accuracy of existing boundary lines and complete boundary line retracements. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Land survey technicians and technologists work as part of a team that includes other land survey technicians and technologists, office staff, land surveyors and other professionals. They may lead and coordinate field crew when completing survey activities. They work independently when researching land titles, reviewing data and creating survey plans. (2)
Land survey technicians and technologists learn from day-to-day activities, their co-workers and supervisors and through in-house training programs. They attend training to maintain technical certifications such as Workplace Hazardous Material Information System and First Aid. They learn about new equipment, computer programs and surveying techniques through various methods such as referencing manuals, hands-on experience, attending training at the workplace or courses offered at learning institutes. In addition, they stay current by reading association newsletters, equipment or program manuals and technical books. (2)