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What really is the role of a survey technician....

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Paul in PA
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The problem for you is that this type of work does not add any time to you working and being in responsible charge. In ten years of this work you may be lucky to have 2 years of acceptable experience. It you are looking to take the PS exam you might want to consider working for less for a smaller survey firm that needs competent field crew. It cost me considerably in lower paychecks to get bonafide experience, but I am satisfied with what I got out of it. I actually gave up professional engineering opportunities to eventually make less money as a surveyor. My children were out of college, I went back to school, worked for less money and my wife did not object. She is now rewarded by getting occasional opportunities to work in the brier patch or collecting EP shots. Her only question is, "Am I wearing green or orange?"

Paul in PA, PE, PLS

PS, I doubt you want to wait till you are that old.

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Jitterboogie
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@paul-in-pa 

Thanks for the candor.  The whole responsible charge crap is where I really get peeved. It's so subjective, and no one, can accurately define and list what that is. It one of this professions weakest and most ridiculous aspects. No one, no plumber, doctor lawyers, Nurses, Nurse practitioner, Pharmacist, Electricians, and on and on and on....have any difficulty defining what and how they are measured. Last year someone here (and you responded too) was having a terrible time getting his ex father in law to validate his time, and he was refusing. WTF. Adding a college degree did nothing to weed out that kind of crap.

Either way, maybe we need to add a third test, a  week field practicum, like a solo in an aircraft, where you get to show how well you were trained, and if you fail, the consequences are double, the instructor should be evaluated then too, i.e. the licences willing to sign off on your responsible charge. 

I've collected data for ALTAs but didn't draft them. I've set boundary monuments, and struck boundary lines based upon evidence and research and sign off from a licensed surveyor. Do I need to quantify the minutes into hours and then days and years to finally build up enough time? I'm not ready to be licensed and I know that. But the lack of concrete time and defined quantifiable experience has to be real.

It's just ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't try harder to get into medical school, and then I remember, I don't like sick people.

It's easier than surveying, to get through,and lacks this bizarre random arbitrary capriciousness that seems to plague the process, and again, I'm in a state that's got a descending population and an incomplete and largely unavailable board, so my angst, isn't the entire country, but not far off in a lot of places.

 

Sorry 

Had another 103+ fever. 

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Williwaw
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Only can add that it has been my experience that with multi disciplinary engineering-survey firms, the survey end of things tends to take a back seat to the engineering end and the surveyor’s offices seem to often be in the basement. I’ve seen entire survey staff from the LS down to the rodman pack up and leave en mass out of frustration with the way they’re treated by the engineer side. It was my policy when interviewing for a position to clarify up front if I would be receiving responsible charge as a PC. If not, my priority was over my eventual licensure over the pay. I worked for a number of years making just enough to get by while gaining responsible charge and learning from some of the best surveyors in the state when I could have made twice as much doing union construction staking. In the long run, that approach paid off, for me anyway. YMMV.

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Jitterboogie
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@williwaw 

I Interviewed with a company that had that happen. I asked"Where did the survey staff go?"

"They left."

"All of them?????"

"Yeah."

 

Needless to say it was an opportunity to not follow up with for me.

 

Bullet dodged.

 

I appreciate the candor again.

 

I always ask them for the path of license in the company. It's either there or it isn't.

One guy said, you don't need a license. I ended the interview.

 

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Rover83
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Posted by: @paul-in-pa

It you are looking to take the PS exam you might want to consider working for less for a smaller survey firm that needs competent field crew. It cost me considerably in lower paychecks to get bonafide experience

Can we all just pause a moment and reflect on the mind-bending fact that, in a time when real wages/benefits are stagnant and barely sufficient to support a living in the areas that really need solid up-and-coming surveyors the most...

...and as we continue to lament a lack of interest and a lack of qualified candidates for our field...

...we are counseling the next generation to make a choice between getting decent pay and learning the fundamental skills of our profession?

What kid coming out of school these days hears that and says "Yeah, that's the ticket!"

I'm not picking on you, Paul - this is a sentiment I hear regularly and it drives me nuts. When did we all decide that making a good living and getting professional development at work are mutually exclusive? Other professions manage it just fine.

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Paul in PA
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@rover83 

"making a good living and getting professional development at work" can happen but not at the typical engineering firm. As far as making the choice. I graduated with a BS CE, major in structural engineering and had 15 credit hours in architecture. The architecture professor said he could get me into Yale or Penn grad school. I thought about it and declined because I did not want to sacrifice many years as a grunt in an architectural office. I was in a responsible charge type of job in engineering almost immediately and almost every where I went along the way. Unfortunately almost every engineering concentrated office considers surveyors, even PLSes, as grunts. Many engineering departments underestimate the project to get the job and squeeze the survey department to make up the budget deficit. Unfortunately the plethora of robots has wiped out the greatest opportunity for apprenticeship and mentoring and the days of good surveyors may be coming to an end.

Paul in PA

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Jitterboogie
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@paul-in-pa 

😐 😕 😧 

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Rick Taylor
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@paul-in-pa 

Many engineering departments underestimate the project to get the job and squeeze the survey department to make up the budget deficit.

Amen, Paul. I got bit hard by that a few years ago. And the bigger the company the worse it is.

Unfortunately the plethora of robots has wiped out the greatest opportunity for apprenticeship and mentoring and the days of good surveyors may be coming to an end.

I agree with that. I take every opportunity to try to teach the younger surveyors I work with why they do what they do and why it matters, and why this profession matters. But as soon as they find a place to make an extra buck they're gone. It's rare to find the youngster who's interested in more than the paycheck.

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RADAR
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Posted by: @rick-taylor

 

 It's rare to find the youngster who's interested in more than the paycheck.

the paycheck's coming; they just need to be patient...

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JPH
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@rover83 

We finally agree on something here!

; )

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MightyMoe
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you're so funny,,,,you thought the engineer was going to know how to use CAD to draft plans?

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FL/GA
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Posted by: @jitterboogie

thermo and statics

Thermodynamics, Statics?, (and possibly Structural dynamics), LSIT no, EIT yes. 😉 

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