What really is the role of a survey technician....
Then there are the Government job titles. You arrived in town by hopping a ride on a turnip truck. You ask around for a place that might be looking for a worker with few skills. Someone points you towards the nearest Government operation, They interview you, check your urination qualification and offer you a job as Second Assistant (trainee level) to the Boucoup Inspector. Six months later you are a Junior Engineer. Six months after that you are a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer. Six months later you are Director of Engineering. Not bad for a dropout who never attempted to get a GED, let alone any kind of college level coursework. That $24,000 per year plus benefits beats the heck out of hoeing and pulling turnips.
At the LSIT level? It's really hard to quantify something like that. Some folks literally do a single task for years and manage to pass the FS.
I have known LSITs with zero practical knowledge of boundary resolution. Others were good enough that the PLS let them handle all but the most complex projects. I've met some who are rock stars at data reduction, and others who could barely get raw data out of the collector, let alone process, QC, and adjust it.
My employer has different levels for every title, usually three or four. They actually spell out some specific tasks that each level would be expected to perform. Sounds good in theory, but in practice you can look at all the folks at a particular level and find that 20% shouldn't be allowed to do the stuff they are supposed to do, and 20% are already ahead of the folks at the next level up. Time in grade inevitably trumps skill set and ability when it comes to advancement (and pay).
An LSIT office tech should need minimal hand-holding for average day to day tasks, but require dedicated mentorship for things like boundary analysis, data reduction/network analysis, and maybe research. Depending on background they might need regular assistance with writing descriptions, reviewing title docs, and the like. But I would expect an LSIT to be able to do anywhere from 50-90% of it on their own before needing help. Regular check ins should be the norm, since the idea is to train a future PLS.
But that's just me. YMMV.
AND...at least in my state, you can still get an engineering stamp through on the job experience, do enough engineering work and you might be able to apply for the EIT. Hard to pass that test without the schooling from what I have seen, but I do know some PE's without a degree.
My head hurts now without thermo and statics etc.
My head hurts after reading this post..... 😉
Good question, Jitterboogie. I think there are quite a few people in what I suppose would be called the "Middle Class" of the survey industry trying to figure out where they fit. So many tasks out there. But I fall in the same camp as you, assuming that strong skills in the CAD arena create more opportunities when it comes to the tasks that you're assigned. Now, whether or not it's fair to assign those tasks to the survey tech is another question.
I think it depends on what kind of workplace you inhabit. I briefly worked at a Civil Engineer & Survey Firm when I started and it wouldn't be uncommon for people who were with 4 years experience (not LSIT) to be creating drainage plans and doing introductory road design from survey information gathered. However, that was a small firm with <10 total employees, so everyone wore at least 2 hats.