Surveying and Mapping technicians’ employment is expected to grow 16 percent from 201 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Recent advancements in mapping technology have led to new uses for maps and a need for more of the data used to build maps. As a result, surveying and mapping technicians should have more work.The digital revolution in mapmaking has created a need to harmonize property maps made the traditional way, with maps based on data fed into a GIS. Owners of private property will need to hire surveyors and surveying technicians to gather data in the field.
Cities, towns, and counties are finding that the data gathered by surveying and mapping technicians are crucial in implementing systems integration, the process of putting onto one map all the information about wires, pipes, and other underground infrastructure. That way, a city, town, or county can upgrade the entire infrastructure a street at the same time, resulting in savings for the local government.The prevalence of smart phones and other mobile devices with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has greatly increased the use of maps for finding businesses and other destinations. Surveying and mapping technicians will be needed to provide the data for these maps and to ensure that they are accurate.
Surveying and mapping technicians held about 56,900 jobs in 2010. As shown in the tabulation below, most surveying and mapping technicians were employed in agricultural and engineering services in 2010:
|Architectural, engineering, and related services||59%|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||15|
|Electric power generation, transmission and distribution||3|
|Federal government, excluding postal service||3|
About 5 percent of surveying and mapping technicians were self-employed in 2010.Most surveying and mapping technicians work for firms that provide engineering, surveying, and mapping services on a contract basis. State and local governments also employ these workers in highway and planning departments.
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 instruments and other equipment. Traveling is sometimes part of the job, and surveying technicians may commute long distances, stay away from home overnight, or temporarily relocate near a survey site.Mapping technicians work primarily indoors on computers. However, mapping technicians must sometimes conduct research by using resources such as survey maps and legal documents to verify property lines and to obtain information needed for mapping. This task may require traveling to storage sites housing these legal documents, such as county courthouses or lawyers’ offices.
Surveying and mapping technicians assist surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists. Together, they collect data and make maps of the earth’s surface. Surveying technicians visit sites to take measurements of the land. Mapping technicians use geographic data to create maps.
Employment of surveyors is expected to grow 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will result from increased construction related to improving infrastructure. The demand for traditional surveying services is closely tied to construction activity and opportunities will vary by year and geographic region, depending on local economic conditions. When real estate sales and construction slow down, surveyors may face greater competition for jobs. However, because surveyors can work on many different types of projects, they may have steadier work than others when construction slows.
An increasing number of firms are interested in geographic information and its applications. For example, a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be used to create maps and information for emergency planning, security, marketing, urban planning, natural resource exploration, construction, and other applications. Surveyors will still be needed for legal reasons to verify the accuracy of the data and information gathered for input into a GIS.Although surveyors have traditionally relied on construction projects for many of their opportunities, increased demand for geographic data should mean better opportunities for professionals who are involved in developing and using GIS technology and digital mapmaking. Other opportunities should result from the many surveyors who are expected to retire or permanently leave the occupation for other reasons.
Surveyors establish land, airspace, and water boundaries. They measure the Earth’s surface to collect data that are used to draw maps, determine the shape and contour of parcels of land, and set property lines and boundaries. They also define airspace for airports and measure construction and mining sites. Surveyors work with civil engineers, landscape architects, and urban and regional planners to develop comprehensive design documents.
Surveyors typically do the following:
- Measure distances, directions, and angles between points on, above, and below the Earth’s surface
- Select known reference points and then determine the exact location of important features in the survey area using special equipment
- Establish official land and water boundaries
- Research land records and other sources of information affecting properties
- Look for evidence of previous boundaries to determine where boundary lines are
- Travel to locations to measure distances and directions between points
- Record the results of surveying and verify the accuracy of data
- Prepare plots, maps, and reports
- Work with cartographers (mapmakers), architects, construction managers, and others
- Present findings to clients, government agencies, and others
- Write descriptions of land for deeds, leases, and other legal documents
- Provide expert testimony in court regarding their work or that of other surveyors
Surveyors held about 51,200 jobs in 2010. Most worked for private surveying or engineering firms. Some worked for state and local governments:
|Architectural, engineering, and related services||65%|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||6|
|Heavy and civil engineering construction||4|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||4|
About 14 percent of surveyors were self-employed in 2010.
Surveying involves both field work and indoor work. Field work involves working outdoors, standing for long periods, and walking considerable distances. Surveyors sometimes climb hills with heavy packs of instruments and other equipment. When working outside, they are exposed to all types of weather, and they may need to stop outdoor work in bad weather.Surveyors also do many tasks indoors, including researching land records, analyzing field survey data, mapping, presenting information to regulatory agencies, and providing expert testimony in courts of law.Traveling is sometimes part of the job, and surveyors may commute long distances or stay at project locations for a period of time.
Employment of mechanical engineers is expected to grow 9 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology. Mechanical engineers can work in many industries and on many types of projects. As a result, their growth rate will differ by the industries that employ them.Mechanical engineers should experience demand in architectural, engineering, and related services as companies continue to hire temporary engineering services as a cost-cutting measure rather than keeping engineers on staff. Mechanical engineers will also be involved in various manufacturing industries—specifically, transportation equipment and machinery manufacturing. They will be needed to design the next generation of vehicles and vehicle systems, such as hybrid-electric cars and clean diesel automobiles. Machinery will continue to be in demand as machines replace more expensive human labor in various industries. This phenomenon in turn should drive demand for mechanical engineers who design industrial machinery.
Mechanical engineers often work on the newest industrial pursuits. The fields of alternative energies, remanufacturing, and nanotechnology may offer new directions for occupational growth.Alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, have become popular forms of clean energy, and mechanical engineers are instrumental in their design and manufacture.Remanufacturing—rebuilding goods for use in a second life—holds promise because it reduces the cost of waste disposal for local governments. Training in remanufacturing may become common in mechanical engineering at colleges and universities.
Mechanical engineers are the second-largest engineering occupation, holding about 243,200 jobs in 2010. They work mostly in engineering services, research and development, manufacturing industries, and the federal government.
|Architectural, engineering, and related services||21%|
|Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences||6|
|Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing||5|
|Aerospace product and parts manufacturing||5|
|Federal government, excluding postal service||5|
The rest are employed in general-purpose machinery manufacturing, automotive parts manufacturing, management of other companies, and testing laboratories. Mechanical engineers generally work in professional office settings. They may occasionally visit worksites where a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention.
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Mechanical engineers typically do the following:
- Analyze problems to see how a mechanical device might help solve the problem
- Design or redesign mechanical devices, creating blueprints so the device can be built
- Develop a prototype of the device and test the prototype
- Analyze the test results and change the design as needed
- Oversee the manufacturing process for the device
Mechanical engineers use many types of tools, engines, and machines. Examples include the following:
- Power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines
- Power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning
- Industrial production equipment, including robots used in manufacturing
- Other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators
- Machine tools and tools for other engineers
- Material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations
Employment of mechanical engineering technicians is expected to increase by 4 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment in this occupation depends on the overall state of manufacturing, which is expected to decline. Mechanical engineering technicians also work for firms in engineering services and in research and development, both of which contract services from manufacturing and other industries. Contracting for this work allows firms to hire these services at a lower cost than employing technicians in-house. Employment of mechanical engineering technicians will not change at the same rate in every industry.
The two expanding fields in which mechanical engineering technicians may find broader opportunities in the future are remanufacturing and alternative energies.
- Remanufacturing, the art of restoring nonworking products to working condition, is becoming increasingly important because it can reduce waste disposal costs for counties and cities. Remanufacturing is likely to be confined to domestic activity, because transportation costs to remanufacture abroad would make these products less competitive compared with newly manufactured products.
- Products from alternative energy sources, such as wind power and solar power, should be in demand because of a drive to cut energy costs. Demand for mechanical engineering technicians is expected as mechanical engineers move into these alternative energies and need help implementing designs and plans.
Mechanical engineering technicians held about 44,900 jobs in 2010. They work closely with mechanical engineers and are employed primarily in traditional manufacturing settings and in research and development laboratories. Most mechanical engineering technicians work full-time.
Industries employing the largest numbers of mechanical engineering technicians in 2010 were as follows:
|Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences||8%|
|Motor vehicle parts manufacturing||4|
|Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments
|Aerospace product and parts manufacturing||4|
Some mechanical engineering technicians may be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals, or toxic materials, but injuries are rare as long as proper procedures are followed.
Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers design, develop, test, and manufacture industrial machinery, consumer products, and other equipment. They may make sketches and rough layouts, record and analyze data, make calculations and estimates, and report their findings.
Mechanical engineering technicians typically do the following:
- Evaluate drawing designs for new or changed tools by measuring dimensions on the drawing and comparing them with the original specifications
- Prepare layouts and drawings of parts to be made and the process for putting them together
- Discuss changes with coworkers—for example, in the design of the part, in the way it will be made and put together, and in the techniques and process they will use
- Review instructions and blueprints for the project to ensure the test specifications, procedures, and objectives
- Plan, make, and put together new or changed mechanical parts for products, such as industrial machinery or equipment
- Set up and conduct tests of complete units and of parts as they would really be used, as a way to investigate proposals for improving equipment performance
- Record test procedures and results, numerical and graphical data, and recommendations for changes in product or test methods
- Analyze test results in regarding design specifications and test objectives
Employment of landscape architects is projected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.Planning and development of new construction and redevelopment of existing buildings will drive employment growth. With land costs rising and the public’s desire for more beautiful and functional spaces, the importance of good site planning and landscape design is expected to grow.
In addition, environmental concerns and increased demand for sustainably designed construction projects will spur demand for the services of landscape architects. For example, landscape architects are involved in the design of green roofs, which are covered with some form of vegetation and can significantly reduce air and water pollution and the costs of heating and cooling a building. Landscape architects also will be needed to design plans to manage storm-water runoff while conserving water resources and avoiding polluting waterways.Landscape architects held about 21,600 jobs in 2010, of which 47 percent were employed in the architectural, engineering, and related services industry. About 24 percent were self-employed.Landscape architects spend most of their time in offices, creating plans and designs, preparing models and cost estimates, doing research, and attending meetings with clients and other professionals involved in designing or planning a project. They spend the rest of their work time at jobsites.
Landscape architects plan and design land areas for parks, recreational facilities, highways, airports, and other properties. Projects may include subdivisions and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
Landscape architects typically do the following:
- Confer with clients, engineers, and building architects to understand a project
- Prepare site plans, specifications, and cost estimates
- Coordinate the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures
- Prepare graphic representations and drawings of proposed plans and designs
- Analyze environmental reports and data on land conditions, such as drainage
- Inspect landscape work to ensure that it adheres to original plans
- Approve the quality of work that others do
- Seek new work through marketing or by giving presentations
People enjoy attractively designed gardens, public parks, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and golf courses. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only functional but also beautiful and harmonious with the natural environment.Landscape architects plan the locations of buildings, roads, and walkways. They also plan where to plant flowers, shrubs, and trees. Landscape architects design and plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans, such as wetlands, stream corridors, and mined areas.
Many landscape architects specialize in a particular area, such as beautifying or otherwise improving streets and highways, waterfronts, parks and playgrounds, or shopping centers.Increasingly, landscape architects are working in environmental remediation, such as preserving and restoring wetlands or managing storm-water runoff in new developments. They are also increasingly playing a role in preserving and restoring historic landscapes.Landscape architects who work for government agencies do design sites and landscapes for government buildings, parks, and other public lands, as well as plan for landscapes and recreation areas in national parks and forests.In addition, they prepare environmental impact statements and studies on environmental issues, such as planning for use of public lands.