Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Job Description [Updated for 2024]

aerial surveying and mapping pilot job description

In the era of rapid technological advancements, the role of aerial surveying and mapping pilots has become crucial than ever before.

As our world evolves, the demand for skilled professionals who can accurately capture, analyze, and map our physical environment from the air continues to grow.

But what really entails the job of an aerial surveying and mapping pilot?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker wanting to understand the specifics of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or merely fascinated by the world of aerial surveying and mapping,

You’ve landed at the right spot.

Today, we present a customizable Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot job description template, created for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Duties and Responsibilities

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots are responsible for operating aircraft to capture high quality aerial photographs and videos for mapping and surveying purposes.

They must ensure that they follow strict safety protocols and regulations while carrying out their duties.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Operating and navigating aerial vehicles to designated locations for surveying and mapping
  • Adhering to flight plans and schedules to capture high-resolution images or videos
  • Ensuring equipment, such as cameras and sensors, are properly installed and functioning correctly
  • Coordinating with ground teams or other professionals to collect data accurately and efficiently
  • Reviewing and interpreting flight data, including weather conditions and air traffic
  • Performing routine maintenance checks and repairs on the aircraft and equipment
  • Maintaining accurate logs of flight hours and survey data
  • Following strict safety protocols and regulations to ensure the safety of the crew and the success of the mission
  • Communicating effectively with air traffic control during flight operations


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are looking for a skilled and experienced Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot to join our dynamic team.

The successful candidate will perform aerial surveys, capture aerial photographs, and provide accurate geographical data for mapping purposes.

They should be well-versed in operating different types of aircraft, possess excellent navigational skills, and have a strong understanding of remote sensing technology and Geographic Information System (GIS).



  • Perform aerial surveys and capture high-quality aerial photographs.
  • Conduct maintenance checks and ensure the aircraft is in good flying condition.
  • Plan and execute flight paths for maximum data capture.
  • Operate and manage GIS technology and other surveying instruments.
  • Analyze and interpret data for mapping purposes.
  • Follow flight regulations and safety standards.
  • Coordinate with ground support personnel for surveying projects.
  • Report any irregularities or unsafe conditions of the aircraft immediately.
  • Stay updated with advancements in surveying technology.



  • Proven work experience as an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot or similar role.
  • Valid pilot’s license.
  • Experience with GIS and remote sensing technology.
  • Strong understanding of aerial surveying and mapping techniques.
  • Strong navigation skills and the ability to operate different types of aircraft.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • High degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented environment.
  • Good physical health and stamina.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Opportunities for career growth and training


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot
  • Work Environment: Field work with frequent travel. May include working in varying weather conditions.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Lead Surveyor or Surveying Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $70,000 minimum to $90,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Do?

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots primarily work for companies in the geospatial, construction, and environmental industries.

They can also work as self-employed individuals or for government agencies.

They fly aircraft equipped with advanced technology, including LiDAR and Photogrammetric cameras, to capture detailed images or data of the earth’s terrain and structures.

These images and data are then used to produce maps, 3D models, or other geospatial products.

Their job is to safely and accurately pilot the aircraft along predetermined flight paths to collect required data.

They have to consider factors such as weather, air traffic, and the specific equipment they are operating to ensure quality data collection.

They work closely with other professionals like Geospatial Analysts and Cartographers to understand the requirements of the survey or mapping project, and often adjust flight plans to optimize data collection.

In addition to piloting the aircraft, they are also responsible for the maintenance and calibration of the surveying and mapping equipment.

They may be tasked with reviewing collected data for quality assurance before it is passed on for further processing.


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Qualifications and Skills

An Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot should possess a variety of technical skills, in-depth knowledge, and personal attributes to effectively carry out the responsibilities of the role, including:

  • In-depth knowledge of geography, topography, and cartography to accurately read and interpret maps and carry out aerial surveying tasks.
  • Strong aviation skills along with an active pilot’s license for the type of aircraft being used. Commercial pilot’s license may also be required for some roles.
  • Excellent technical abilities to operate and troubleshoot advanced flight systems, surveying equipment and mapping software.
  • Outstanding navigation and orientation skills to effectively fly the aircraft along predetermined flight paths, and compensate for factors like wind speed and direction.
  • Strong observational skills to ensure the accurate collection of data for surveying and mapping purposes.
  • Good physical health and stamina for controlling the aircraft over extended periods, as well as excellent eyesight for observing and documenting geographical features.
  • High attention to detail to ensure the accuracy of mapping data and to maintain safety during flight operations.
  • Sound decision-making skills and ability to work under pressure, particularly in emergency situations or adverse weather conditions.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills to liaise with ground crew, air traffic control, and clients.


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Experience Requirements

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots typically require a significant amount of practical experience, often achieved through a combination of education and on-the-job training.

Entry-level candidates are usually required to possess a bachelor’s degree in aviation, aeronautical engineering, or a related field.

They also need to have a commercial pilot’s license, and often gain experience through pilot training programs or military service.

Some roles may also require instrument and multi-engine ratings.

Candidates with 1 to 2 years of experience typically have hands-on flight experience, which may include aerial surveying, mapping, or similar roles.

They are likely to have flown for hundreds of hours and may have experience in operating photogrammetric survey equipment or similar technologies.

Those with more than 3 years of experience often have considerable flight hours and may have acquired specialized training in areas like remote sensing, GIS software, or geospatial data interpretation.

They may also have experience in more complex roles such as flight planning, data collection, or flight instructor roles.

Candidates with over 5 years of experience in aerial surveying and mapping are often considered for senior or managerial roles.

At this level, the pilot is expected to have extensive operational experience, potentially in various types of aircraft.

They may also have experience in leading survey projects, team management, and may be adept at troubleshooting technical issues related to aerial survey equipment.


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Education and Training Requirements

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

In most cases, they also need an undergraduate degree in a field like aviation, geography, geomatics, or a related field.

They must have a Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL) and an Instrument Rating (IR) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Additionally, these professionals often need a specific certification in Aerial Surveying and Mapping.

Strong knowledge in geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and photogrammetry is essential.

Experience in operating mapping software and aerial photography equipment is also necessary.

Some positions may require a certain amount of flight hours or previous work experience in aerial surveying.

To improve their career prospects, pilots can pursue advanced qualifications such as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.

Continued education and training are crucial in this field due to technological advancements and changes in regulations.

Therefore, Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing learning and development.


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Salary Expectations

An Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot can expect an average salary of $102,520 (USD) per year.

The actual income can vary based on factors such as years of experience in the field, the complexity of the surveys and maps required, and the geographical location of the job.


Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot Job Description FAQs

What qualifications does an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot need?

An Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot typically requires a commercial pilot’s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

They also need a high school diploma, though some employers might prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree in aviation or a related field.

Additionally, they must have several hours of flight experience, with specific requirements varying by employer.


What skills does an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot require?

Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots need excellent flying skills and a deep understanding of aviation laws and regulations.

They should be proficient in operating complex aircraft controls and systems.

They must also have strong spatial abilities and a keen attention to detail to accurately capture and interpret geographical data.

Problem-solving skills are essential for handling emergencies or unexpected situations during flight.


What are the daily duties of an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot?

The daily duties of an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot include pre-flight checks of aircraft equipment, reviewing flight plans, flying over specified areas to gather aerial data, and ensuring that the data gathering equipment works correctly.

After the flight, they review the collected data for accuracy and deliver the information to mapping professionals for further analysis and interpretation.


What qualities make a good Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot?

A good Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot is safety-conscious and always mindful of aviation safety protocols.

They possess excellent concentration skills, allowing them to focus for long periods while flying.

They are also good communicators, able to coordinate effectively with ground staff, air traffic control, and other team members.

They should also be flexible and adaptable, ready to handle changes in flight plans or equipment malfunctions.


Is it challenging to hire an Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilot?

Finding qualified Aerial Surveying and Mapping Pilots can be challenging due to the specific qualifications and skills required for this role.

Prospective employers must offer competitive salaries, provide high-quality equipment, and ensure a safe work environment to attract the best candidates.



And there we have it.

Today, we’ve given you an inside look into the captivating world of aerial surveying and mapping pilots.


It’s not just about flying planes.

It’s about creating comprehensive aerial maps and data that shape our understanding of the world, one flight at a time.

With our detailed aerial surveying and mapping pilot job description template and real-world examples, you’re ready to take off.

But why stay grounded?

Soar higher with our job description generator. It’s your guiding compass to precision-crafted job listings or honing your resume to perfection.


Every flight mission is a part of the bigger picture.

Let’s navigate that future. Together.

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