Photo inspection, called photogrammetry, is a discipline that is used by mapmakers, environmental scientists and archaeologists. Students in undergraduate programs in the field learn to use the latest industry technology to interpret, measure, and reconstruct information based on photographic images. Professional photogrammetrists are generally required to hold a 2-year degree and have ample experience or a bachelor's degree in a related field.
Associate's Degree in Geospatial Information Technologies
Associate's degrees in geospatial information technologies, geomatics and surveying all cover subjects related to surveying, aerial photography, geographical information systems and cartography. Associate's degree programs can either be terminal degrees, which prepare students for careers in surveying or photogrammetry, or can lead to a 4-year degree program in geographical information or geomatics. Student must have a high school diploma or equivalent prior to enrolling. Popular courses include:
- Plane surveying
- Geographic information systems (GIS)
- Land surveying principles
- Legal aspects of surveying
Bachelor's Degree in Geomatics Engineering
Programs in geomatics engineering include coursework on collecting and processing information created through surveying, remote sensing and photogrammetry. Students extract data from 2-dimensional photographs using mathematical formulas in order to compile data into useful information, like 3-dimensional reconstructions of ancient structures. Students learn to use the latest GIS software. Enrollment into a bachelor's degree in geomatics requires a high school diploma and a strong background in math and science. Desire to work with technology and photography is helpful. Programs offer such courses as:
- Land boundary and surveying law
- Geographic information systems
- Surveying fundamentals
- Technical writing
- Digital photogrammetry
Popular Career Options
Students who complete a 2-year degree in geographic information technologies may seek jobs as GIS technicians or as surveying technicians and apprentices in order to gain the experience needed to become photogrammetrists. Popular entry-level job titles include geospatial technician, GIS technician, and surveying aid.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for cartographers and photogrammetrists are expected to increase 15% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than average. Employment for surveyors is expected to increase 6% during that same decade, and employment for surveying and mapping technicians is projected to also increase 5%. Top industries that hired cartographers and photogrammetrists were the architectural and engineering services industry, local government and consulting services.
Continuing Education Information
Students who want a career in photogrammetric research or who want to teach may seek graduate degree programs in geographic information science, cartography, geomatics or remote sensing. Master's and Ph.D. degrees are available in these subjects.
While licensure may required to work as a photogrammetrist, certification is optional. The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) offers a voluntary certified photogrammetric technologist credential for those who have three years of experience in photogrammetry and have passed a written exam (www.asprs.org). A certified photogrammetrist credential is available for those with six years experience and who have passed the professional exam. Some employers prefer job candidates to have a bachelor's degree in geomatics. Licensure is required in a few states for photogrammetrist and surveyors.
There are both associate's and bachelor's degree programs that train undergraduate students to analyze and inspect photos of land. After studying geomatics, these students can go on to pursue careers as photogrammetrists and surveyors.