A survey assistant needs:
keen observation skills
a reasonable level of fitness
the ability to work as part of team
to be methodical and pay attention to details
Survey assistants work in locations throughout Western Australia, from the
Tuart forests in the South West to the Bungle Bungles in the
Kimberley. They often work outside, in most weather conditions,
though they may spend some time working in an office. Field work can
be carried out in a diverse range of environments, including building
sites, mine sites, proposed housing developments, built up urban
areas, farms or on the coast. Those working at mine sites may also be
required to work underground.
Other construction and mining labourers, which include survey assistants,
can expect to earn between $986 and $1,398* per week, depending on
their level of experience and the organisation they work
*ABS Census (2006)
Survey assistants set up, and occasionally operate, a range of specialist
surveying equipment, which may include theodolites, levels, prisms
and electronic distance measuring equipment. They may also make use
of Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, as well as computers
with land surveying software and computer-aided design (CAD)
programs. When marking out property boundaries, survey assistants
commonly use wooden pegs or star pickets and hammers to drive them
into the ground. Some survey assistants may also be required to drive
trucks, 4 wheel drive and/or other vehicles to work sites. Protective
clothing, including hard hats, steel-capped boots and high-visibility
vests, may be required at some work sites.
It is possible to become a survey assistant with no formal
qualifications, with most employers providing training on-the-job
once you are employed. However, it may improve you employment
prospects if you complete a certificate in Spatial Information
The Certificate II in Spatial Information Services provides a general
introduction to surveying. It covers the skills and knowledge
required to read and interpret maps, maintain and operate common
equipment and provide services in the field. It also covers general
workplace skills, such as communication and occupational health and
safety. It generally takes 6 months to complete and is offered by
Central Institute of Technology (eCentral - East Perth
A Certificate III in Spatial Information Services builds on these
basic skills. Students learn how to work with spatial data, perform
computations and more advanced fieldwork skills, including how to
operating a 4 wheel drive vehicle. This course also takes 6 months to
complete and is available at Central Institute of Technology
(eCentral - East Perth campus), Kimberley TAFE (Broome campus) and
South West Regional College of TAFE (Bunbury campus).
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification. Visit the ApprentiCentre to find out more.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.