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News & Press: MSS News

How one technician ended up doubling his salary with the help of friends and MSS

Wednesday, July 18, 2018   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Ebonique Ellis
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Terry Blomquist, a professional land surveyor at Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, describes his path to licensure.

 

If you are already a member of Maryland Society of Surveyors (MSS), you probably ran into Terry Blomquist at a conference or heard him speak at a chapter meeting. He displays a sort of surveyor’s charm with his affection for the profession and his understanding of how the profession helped him become the responsible adult he is today.

 

Blomquist volunteered to tell his personal story about his own transition from technician to a licensed surveyor. He describes the profession and the pursuit of licensure as, “something that has really helped give stability to my life during some real soul-searching times.”

 

His story relies heavily on the bonds that you make in the field with your surveying crew. He described a semi-typical story of a licensed surveyor giving a young adult a good job with no experience. The technician job is a good job for someone without experience, but the surveyors who select their crew tend to select people just like Terry Blomquist.

 

People who feel just as passionate about the outdoors enough to realize a good paying stable job when they see it. As a technician, although Blomquist admired the surveyor who gave him his job, his story really blooms when discussing the bonds between other technicians and students working together.

 

His story was about working and studying together with other Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) – Catonsville students. He met people like Edward Glawe, Jeremy Burns, Mark Wild, and Jeremy Jolly who all ended up helping him study for the hardest exam of his life – the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam. They organized a rigorous study group that met every week at Carroll Community College.

 

He says that another key for him passing the exam was trying to expand his education past his associate’s degree by taking classes at Pennsylvania State University’s Wilkes-Barre campus for one-semester. Blomquist mentioned that, “The coordinates geometry basic fundamental courses were a huge in helping me pass the fundamentals of surveying exam.”

 

Blomquist also was an expert at time-management. He worked in the survey crew from 7 AM to 3 PM. He then either went to work part-time at IKEA or took classes part-time at CCBC. He wouldn’t normally get home until 9:30 PM. His friends at work and his friends that he met at CCBC all helped him keep going during this trying time.

 

Financially, this schedule was needed. Both IKEA and his survey crew employer offered to help assist in his tuition payments at CCBC. He even applied and was a recipient of an MSS Scholarship for three different semesters. The money he received from MSS helped pay for books and transportation costs.

 

In the end, taking the exam was “tougher than the toughest times in my life,” said Blomquist. He spent much of his early twenties within the midst of serious personal family drama that made him incredibly grateful for the stability that the surveying profession has given to him.

 

After passing the exam, he and his study partners at CCBC found a surveyor job within one to two months. He was able to increase his own wages by nearly 50%, while his co-worker who also passed the exam reported doubling his own salary by obtaining licensure.

 

Now that he’s a licensed surveyor, he recognizes the importance of giving back to the society. He has consistently volunteered his time for the Maryland Society of Surveyors, but he also gives back at his own office. He is working with a few technicians to help them transition towards becoming a land surveyor.

 

The young bright-eyed man who got his first job at a surveying firm has become an adult who recognizes the importance of learning and giving back to the community. Blomquist closed our discussion by saying, “Surveying is something that just feels good and that you always feel rewarded. I really care about the profession a lot.”

 

If you are interested in becoming a surveyor, please contact Robert Banzhoff, Jr who is leading our mentorship program. To read more about volunteering for our mentorship program, click here.

Comments...

Pattianne Smith says...
Posted Thursday, August 2, 2018
Well done Terry. Pattianne Smith

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