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Survey Party Chief

Salary: $27.23-$33.24 hourly / $4,736-$5,782 monthly / Range: 5958

DEFINITION: Under direction, coordinates the activities of a field survey party; performs the most technically complex paraprofessional field surveying duties; and performs other duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Positions in this advanced journey-level classification are responsible for the effective performance, training, and safety of all members of a field survey party. Survey Party Chief is distinguished from the class of Engineering Technician Specialist by its sole assignment of surveying duties. Survey Party Chief reports to a Deputy County Surveyor classification that is assigned responsible charge for field survey work.

Survey Party Chief is distinguished from Survey Specialist by the latter's primary assignment to mapping compliance and other related office survey duties. Survey Party Chief and Survey Specialist both possess general knowledge of land surveying principles and practices. However, Survey Party Chief possesses thorough knowledge of field surveying practices while Survey Specialist possesses working knowledge of such practices. Conversely, Survey Specialist is expected to become proficient in interpreting and applying the Subdivision Map Act and other federal and state laws and standards, while Survey Party Chief need only possess working knowledge of these regulations.


1. Acts as party chief for a field survey crew engaged in making plane and/or geodetic surveys for construction, topographic, right-of-way, and control survey projects; participates in pre-survey planning meetings with project managers, resident engineers, and contractor representatives; assigns and monitors work, and provides input for evaluation of members of field survey crew; and instructs and trains survey crew in survey and mapping methods, use of equipment, and field safety procedures.
2. Gathers field survey data through use of conventional and Global Positioning System (GPS) methods; sets up, adjusts, and operates surveying equipment, including electronic total station, data collector, and GPS equipment, in order to measure distances, elevations, and angles; prepares field notes and drawings; and performs field surveying for roadway, bridges, and flood control projects, including installing surveying construction stakes, tying out existing intersection ties, and locating or establishing vertical and horizontal control, right of way, monuments, corners, boundaries, and property lines.
3. Performs complex surveying calculations using engineering calculator, laptop computer, personal computer, and graphics and coordinate geometry (Cogo) software, such as AutoCad-Softdesk; analyzes raw data for mathematical closure and geometric accuracy; provides survey information for Geographic Information System (GIS); and prepares finished grade sheets, topographic maps, records of survey, corner records, and other survey reports.
4. Researches existing record information, including record maps, plans, deeds, easements, and right-of-way documents; and maintains field data records, survey project files, and indexing systems.
5. May perform mapping compliance or other related office survey duties as a temporary assignment in order to satisfy the training/experience requirement for the Professional Land Surveyor's License.


1. Four years of paraprofessional civil engineering experience, including at least one year of journey-level surveying experience; or,
2. one year performing surveying duties as an Engineering Technician II with the County of Santa Barbara; or,
3. four years of journey-level, paraprofessional engineering experience, plus certification as a Land Surveyor-In-Training (LSIT); or,
4. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Appointees must obtain Land Surveyor-in-Training Certification (LSIT) within one year of appointment. Possession of a California Class C Driver's License is required.

Special Requirements: Work is performed both outdoors and in an office environment. Outdoor work may be conducted at landfills, construction sites, and in traffic. To perform the essential functions of the job, incumbents may be required to perform moderately strenuous tasks, such as including lifting and carrying instruments weighing up to 75 pounds over rough terrain. Incumbents may also be required to clear vegetation, dig holes, and pound stakes with hand tools.

Knowledge of: principles and practices of land surveying, including boundary determination, legal descriptions, construction, topographic surveying, and GIS; field surveying practices and techniques, including radial staking; uses and capabilities of survey instruments, including electronic total station, data collector, theodolites, network control stations, and GPS measuring equipment; laws, rules, and regulations regarding subdivisions of land, boundary locations, mapping, and surveying practices, including the Professional Land Surveyor's Act; principles of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry as used in field survey analysis; technical report writing; and computer assisted surveying applications.

Ability to: assign, prioritize, schedule, and delegate work; explain technical concepts to others; provide constructive feedback; direct, train, and evaluate the performance of staff; enforce safety practices; work independently; read and interpret engineering plans; collect, calculate, and adjust mathematical computations such as distances, traverses, and elevations; analyze data; operate and maintain complex precision surveying instruments, engineering calculators, and personal computers; perform difficult algebraic, geometric, trigonometric, and precise engineering calculations; communicate effectively orally and in writing; and establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with County staff, engineers, developers, contractors, and the general public.

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