Students gain hands-on skills using state-of-the-art surveying equipment donated by AllTerra Central

Students gain hands-on skills using state-of-the-art surveying equipment donated by AllTerra Central

Students gain hands-on skills using state-of-the-art surveying equipment donated by AllTerra Central

July 29, 2019

Eight Blinn College District students recently completed the Site Survey Layout Technician Program at the RELLIS Campus, where they earned the skills necessary for immediate employment on site and field surveying crews throughout the Brazos Valley.

The summer 2019 graduating class includes: Eric B. Barker, David Cline, Dahlen T. Coe, Jordan M. Duffard, Jacob C. Marchbanks, Samuel Mata, Jennifer J. Passmore, and Parker F. Thane.

“This program provides local job seekers a convenient gateway to high-paying careers,” said Jay Anderson, Dean of Technical and Community Education. “Graduates emerge with the expertise and credentials necessary to increase their employability and transition seamlessly into this high-demand field.”

Surveying technicians visit sites to take measurements, collect data, make maps of the Earth’s surface, and assist land surveyors. The skills developed during the Site Survey Layout Technician Program serve as a foundation for technicians who may choose to continue their education.

Thanks to a generous donation from AllTerra Central, students gained hands-on experience while utilizing almost $200,000 in state-of-the-art surveying equipment, including data collectors, GNSS receivers, topographic stations, levels and level rods, and hardware tools.

“The training, instruction, and equipment we had access to throughout this course has prepared me to start my career in just five weeks,” said graduate David Cline of College Station. “With the certifications we earned, I hope to join a good surveying crew and take my education one step further by learning about drones.”

During the five-week program, students completed two concurrent courses that placed them on the path to becoming entry-level surveying technicians. Graduates earned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour certification, the Texas Department of Transportation Flagger and Traffic Control Supervisor certifications, and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Site Layout I credential.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, surveying technicians earn a median pay of $44,380 per year, or $21.34 per hour. The market expects to hire an additional 6,400 technicians between 2016 and 2026, an incredible 11% growth in the job market.

“We hire numerous field crews and we struggle to find good, quality workers that have been trained in basic surveying principles,” said Douglas Bramwell, P.E., RPLS, and Senior Vice President of Survey Practice with the engineering firm Jones and Carter. “Blinn College’s Site Survey Layout Technician Program fills this role and generates graduates that not only know how to go out and take measurements, but understand why they are taking them, and the importance of being accurate.”

Instruction follows curriculum guidelines set forth by the NCCER. The 96-hour initial course gives students an overview of the surveying profession and reviews the mathematics used in surveying. The 104-hour second course covers surveying equipment, sketches, proper field note taking, methods of staking, layout of a building site, and establishing horizontal and vertical controls.

For more information or to learn about upcoming courses, visit Blinn’s Technical and Community Education office at 301 Post Office Street in Bryan or call 979-209-7205.

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