Degrees & Classes

Degrees & Classes

Geomatic Engineering Technology (formerly Survey Technology)

Associate of Applied Science Degree

If you’d like to prepare for a career in a growing field that won’t confine you to an office, then check out Geomatic Engineering Technology. You can put your math and computer skills to work as a surveying and mapping technician in a construction firm, a surveying and engineering firm, mining, oil or gas company, public utility, or a government agency, such as U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, the Bureau of Land Management, or the U.S. Forestry Service.

Program Facts

73% Average placement rate for program graduates

Average annual wage $62,913

Wage potential $73,878 annually

Employment and wage data sources

Jobs & Employment

Employment of surveying and mapping technicians is expected to increase faster than average nationally. Job openings will continue to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force altogether.

About 73% of BTC Surveying & Mapping students are employed within nine months of graduation. The average annual wage in this field is $62,913, with an earning potential of about $73,878 per year.*

Criminal convictions may restrict or prevent student participation with internships and employment in this industry.

Potential Positions

Most program graduates work as surveying and mapping technicians and are employed in direct field service. Opportunities exist in construction companies, private surveying and engineering firms, mining, oil, and gas extraction companies, public utilities, and city, county, state, and federal government agencies (i.e., U.S. Forestry Department, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, and Bureau of Land Management).


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  • Academic Core
  • AMATH 111Applied Technical Math5 credits

    This course introduces concepts of plane geometry and right triangle trigonometry, and develops further the elements of algebra in applications for technical professions. Unit conversions in Metric and English systems, Scientific notations, fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, and proportions are extensively reviewed. Textbook and Scientific or Graphing calculator required.

    Accuplacer Algebra score of 75 or a C grade in MATH 098.

    Future Offerings
    1/6-3/23MWF 2:10p-3:30pWHITMORE DOpenings: 13
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 credits

    A composition course in which students read, analyze, and write essays using a variety of rhetorical strategies, as well as develop and verbally express ideas clearly and effectively. The critical reading of essays will provide a basis for the student's own critical writing, which will reflect a command of college-level literacy standards. Attention to writing fundamentals and stylistic techniques will also be included. Word processing, email and internet knowledge required.

    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 85 or B grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 86 or B grade in ENGL 092 or C grade in AENGL 100.

    Future Offerings
    1/12-3/22T 8:00a-10:10aHATCH LOpenings: 20
    1/12-3/22T 1:10p-3:20pHATCH LOpenings: 18
    1/6-3/23MW 8:30a-9:50aWELCKER ROpenings: 12
    1/6-3/24Online HATCH LOpenings: 5
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 credits

    Designed to introduce students to the application of basic interpersonal communication theory, with a focus on achieving success in the workplace. Topics explored include self-awareness, self-disclosure, conversation skills, relationship development and maintenance, assertiveness, teamwork and group dynamics, conflict management strategies, and diversity issues.

    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh 8:00a-10:10aSMITH MOpenings: 11
    1/6-3/23MW 2:10p-3:30pOEKERMAN COpenings: 6
    1/7-3/24TTh 1:10p-3:20pOEKERMAN COpenings: 10
    1/6-3/23MWF 8:30a-9:50aOEKERMAN COpenings: 19
    1/6-3/24Online BURNS JWaitlisted: 7
    1/6-3/24Online OEKERMAN CWaitlisted: 8
  • OR

  • CMST& 220Public Speaking5 credits

    Introduction to communication theory and public speaking emphasizing organization, audience analysis, oral styles, and use of visual aids. Includes presentation of various types of public speeches and analyses of contemporary speeches.

    Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or a C grade in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh 8:00a-10:10aBURNS JOpenings: 16
    1/6-3/23MWF12:30p-1:50pBURNS JOpenings: 20
  • CTE 108Job Skills1 credits

    This course provides students with the foundation for job preparation and job searching. Students will identify their qualifications for their chosen career; identify what employers look for in strong candidates; build resumes and cover letters; gain tips on completing applications; job and informational interviewing; as well as job searching, professional networking, and tips for setting up a successful career. This is a hybrid course that includes a combination of face-to-face and online instruction. It is important that students should have skills in Microsoft Word before enrolling in this course.

    Students should have skills in Microsoft Office before enrolling in this course.

    Future Offerings
    1/6-2/10W 3:10p-5:00pHATCH LOpenings: 18
    2/17-3/23W 3:10p-5:00pHATCH LOpenings: 23
    1/7-2/11Th 4:00p-6:00pSTAFFOpenings: 12
  • Engineering Core
  • ENGR 100Engineering Orientation2 credits

    This course explores engineering and technology through class discussion, hands-on activities, and presentations by guest speakers. Topics include engineering disciplines, degree and transfer options, career opportunities, academic success strategies, and planning your program of study.

    Future Offerings
    1/6-3/23W11:35a-12:25pDAVISHAHL JOpenings: 23
  • ENGR& 104Introduction To Engineering & Design5 credits

    Course explores the role of teamwork, creativity, and communication in innovative engineering design. Topics include engineering design process, collaborative problem solving techniques, and computer applications. Students will develop their knowledge and skills in these areas through a series of hands-on design projects.

    Accuplacer Algebra score of 75 or C grade or better in Math 098; Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or C grade or better in RDG 085, and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or C grade or better in ENGL 092. Basic computer literacy skills are

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh10:30a-12:40pOYLER MOpenings: 3
  • ENGR 115Graphics5 credits

    This course is an introduction to the use of graphical techniques and standard practices used to communicate engineering design information. Students will learn graphics techniques, visualization skills, standards for object views and drawing sizes, orthographic projection, section views, proper dimensioning techniques, and tolerances. Freehand sketching is used to develop visualization skills and as an instrument for design conceptualization and communication.

    Accuplacer Arithmetic score of 50 OR C grade or better in MATH 090 OR ABE 050; Accuplacer Reading Comprehension score of 71 or C grade or better in RDG 085; and Accuplacer Sentence Skills score of 71 or a C grade or better in ENGL 092.

    Future Offerings
    1/6-3/23MWF12:30p-1:50pMORGAN PWaitlisted: 1
    1/7-3/24MWF 2:10p-3:30pSTETTLER TOpenings: 12
  • ENGT 134AutoCAD I5 credits

    This course is an introduction to CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), utilizing a "cookbook" approach to instruction. Students have immediate hands-on computer usage while applying basic command concepts and terminology. Basic drawing and editing techniques are reinforced with exercises designed to help the student reach an in-depth understanding.

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh10:30a-12:40pSTAFFOpenings: 12
    1/7-3/24TTh 5:30p-7:40pGOODRICH SOpenings: 11
  • ENGT 135AutoCAD II5 credits

    This course is a continuation of AutoCAD I and utilizes intermediate drawing and editing tools. Coursework includes generating and editing dimensions and tolerances in CAD, methods for creating isometric drawings, paperspace techniques for printing/plotting to scale, applications and procedures for creating attributed blocks, creation of table, and the applications and procedures for using external references.

    C grade or better in ENGT 115, C grade or better in ENGT 134

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh 1:10p-3:20pSTETTLER TOpenings: 1
  • Technology Course Work
  • CET 102Fundamentals Of Surveying I5 credits

    Emphasis is placed on familiarization with the different types of surveys and their purpose and teaches the student to be able to differentiate between “accuracy” and “precision.” It teaches the student to measure distances in a vertical direction and relate these measurements to a datum plane or elevation from sea level. Course also teaches the student how to measure directions from known points to find or establish other points and will enable the student to gain necessary skills in operating surveying instruments.

    C grade or better in MATH 098 or instructor permission.

    Future Offerings
    1/6-3/23MWF10:10a-11:00aBROD ROpenings: 10
     MW 8:10a-9:50a
  • CET 103Fundamentals Of Surveying II5 credits

    Emphasis on field work with the Total Station and Digital Level. A traverse will be run and adjusted and a topo made of the enclosed ground.

    C grade or better in CET 102
  • CET 110Construction And Highway Surveys5 credits

    Students will learn stakeout procedures for a variety of construction projects. In addition, the students will develop techniques to help the student learn to use horizontal and vertical curves in the field and office to join tangent lines.

    C grade or better in ENGT 134, C grade or better in CET 102.
  • CET 120Zoning, Permitting & Platting5 credits

    Introduction to Whatcom County and City of Bellingham zoning ordinances and an introduction to the various state, county, and city permits associated with construction and land use in Whatcom County.

    Future Offerings
    9/22-12/10TTh 1:10p-3:20pIRWIN JOpenings: 10
  • CET 141Fundamentals Of GIS & GPS5 credits

    Students develop knowledge and designing skills in topology, features, attributes, relational operators, data capture, coverage editing, coordinate systems, and map projections.

    C grade or better in MATH 098

    Future Offerings
    1/6-3/23MWF12:30p-1:20pBROD ROpenings: 11
     MW 2:10p-3:50p
  • CET 143Advanced GIS Applications5 credits

    An advanced course in desktop mapping focusing on the use of the extensions in Geographic Information Systems applications.

    C grade or better in CET 142

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh10:30a-11:50aBROD ROpenings: 15
  • CET 210Boundary Law & Land Description5 credits

    Explores the importance of various laws dealing with the survey of land boundaries, and the State and Federal laws about ownership and title.

    C grade or better in CET 103

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11MWF 8:30a-9:50aBROD ROpenings: 11
  • CET 215Environmental Mapping5 credits

    Coursework includes current industry mapping techniques and equipment as it relates to environmental issues such as wetlands mapping and habitat restoration.

    C grade or better in ENGT 134, C grade or better in CET 102

    Future Offerings
    9/23-12/11MWF10:00a-10:50aBROD ROpenings: 11
  • CET 220GPS Systems5 credits

    Global Positioning System software will be used to adjust raw field data collected with Trimble 4000 SST receivers.

    C grade or better in CET 215

    Future Offerings
    1/7-3/24TTh 9:00a-10:20aBROD ROpenings: 14
  • CET 225Advanced Survey Seminar5 credits

    Offers opportunities for the second year student to study advanced techniques in GPS, GIS, Data Collection, Research, and Surveying/ Mapping Software. The structure is self-motivated and supports transition from college structure to jobs in the Surveying and Mapping profession.

    CET 103
  • CET 251AutoCAD Civil 3D I5 credits

    Study and use of the Civil Engineering and Survey industry-specific CAD software for computer aided drafting. Focuses on land development and survey applications with AutoCAD on Civil/Survey specific software applications.

    C grade or better in ENGT 134 or instructor permission.

Program Entry Information

Program Start

  • This specialization typically starts in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Quarters on a space available basis.

Testing Requirements

  • Students are required to take the Reading, Sentence and Arithmetic portions of the Accuplacer Placement Test prior to enrolling for classes.

Program Outcomes

  • Graduates will demonstrate competency in basic GIS and surveying and mapping skills;
  • Graduates will prepare for the Level I Survey Technical Exam given by the Career Development Committee of LSAW;
  • Graduates will possess the ability to prepare a topographic map of a parcel of property that is evaluated by WAC 332-130 standards;
  • Graduates will demonstrate entry level competency in using CAD skills;
  • Graduates will demonstrate a working knowledge of the Global Positioning System (GPS) as well as demonstrate a working knowledge of Washington Law related to surveying and boundaries;
  • Graduates will receive, interpret, and convey written, verbal, and graphic information.

Tim Stettler - Instructor image

Tim Stettler

Area of Instruction


Degrees and Certifications

B.S., Civil Engineering, Washington State University

A.A.S., Civil Engineering, Spokane Community College

Certificate, WA Professional Technical Certification

Contact Info

J Building (J) - Room J1





Chris Brod - Instructor image

Chris Brod

Area of Instruction


Degrees and Certifications

B.S., Geography, Northern Arizona University

Certificate, WA Professional Technical Certification

Contact Info

J Building (J) - Room J1




Chris began his career in surveying in the mountains of Colorado in 1978, working in the oilfield. He travelled extensively in the western Unit...
    • Chris began his career in surveying in the mountains of Colorado in 1978, working in the oilfield. He travelled extensively in the western United States, working from south Texas to several miles south of the Canadian border, and from eastern Oklahoma to western Nevada. Wishing to settle down, he attended a technical school in Arizona, learning more about the math, drafting, and fieldwork involved in engineering related surveying.

      Chris eventually ended up in Flagstaff, AZ, working for the Environmental Impact Statement on Glen Canyon Dam, where he was responsible for establishing a survey control network through the Grand Canyon for the Bureau of Reclamation’s GIS project. He started Spatial Science Solutions, a GIS firm shortly before receiving his degree, and has continued this business in a limited way since then. He returned for a third stint with Arizona Engineering to start a GIS department in 2004.

      Chris came to Bellingham Technical College in 2010 be the Surveying and Mapping program instructor.

Areas of Expertise:

    • Areas of Expertise:
    • • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
    • • Field procedures for mapping, property surveys, and construction surveys.
    • • Survey calculations