What would it take?
It still takes as much time to cut a mile of line as it did 40 years ago.
Indeed. But if you don't need a line of sight what the heck are you doing cutting miles of line? Have a crew of landscapers do that. Let the property owner do that. There just isn't much room on the crew these days for all muscle - no brains types. Luckily
most many people can be trained to perform the basic tasks of setting up and operating modern instruments within a matter of hours. Knowing where and when to do it takes more time.
Would an airline hire a pil0t who only knows how to "let the computer" take off, land, fly?
Ummm...well.. yes, they would. But I get your point.
Many of the local "Old hands" around my area have discussed this topic in some form or another over the last few years, never to any real answer, of course. One even took on an intern this year, that he has farmed out to some of us in an effort to show the young fellow some forms of surveying other than what his own firm does. I myself am guilty of not wanting to take many people out with me working, even though 2 is safer than 1, because of the lack of work ethic, stup[id questions, and the fact I end up doing it all anyways, sometimes twice after they gave it a half hearted effort. I do admit I have come across a few potential new hires that showed promise, but they were few and far between. Not many of today's persons are interested in work where they have to be in the heat, cold, rain, swing an axe, dig holes, watch for snakes, wade creeks, etc, when the local fast food joint will pay almost as much, and will work with them on which hours they want to work. When I do get the ones who are interested, I do what I can to teach them at least the things I feel are important basics, with the knowledge that many of them will move on to other, better paying jobs in the oil field surveying parts of the state as soon as they can run a GPS by themselves. I have said I would like to see something like an accredited surveyors college, akin to a barber's college. In Texas, people have to practice cutting hair for a large amount of hours before they can get their barbers license. Why could surveyors not offer a surveyors college that at a minimum taught how GPS worked, how tape measures should be used, how to drive rebar straight, how to do basic calculations, troubleshooting poor GPS receptions, how to keep Field Notes, basic truck maintenance, etc. Things that would make field hands more desirable to employers when they applied for their first survey job.
It seems you're making the same argument I am, especially when the local fast food joint pays as much.
The local fast-food starts off as much. But the ceiling is maybe a couple bucks an hour more. A person who has worked fast food for 10 years may not add any more value to the business than someone who started a month ago.
The ceiling with surveying is an actual living wage. If not with the guy you start out with, then with someone else. SO, no problem with starting a new survey helper out at minimum, as long as there are regular increases as they develop knowledge. I'd expect something (maybe a buck or 2 an hr. each time) after a month, 3 & 6 months, a year, and so on. Assuming steady personal growth. That's not going to happen at Subway.