SurveyorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Surveyors determine exact property boundaries by taking precise measurements. They provide essential data for architectural, engineering, and construction projects, and create accurate maps.
These professionals measure distances and angles on land designated for a construction project. This service is crucial to planning out any project, as it gets vital information and data to the engineers and architects involved. Often the work surveyors do can determine the feasibility of using a particular plot of land for a construction project.
Surveyors need to have a talent for math, a knack for technology, and an eye for detail, as their work is so exacting. It can be a rewarding career direction, as the work of a surveyor is foundational to nearly every construction project.
Sample job description
We are looking for a surveyor! [Your Company Name] is in urgent need of a new surveyor to join our company. Transportation is a must. You must be experienced in precision layout as well as have the proper certifications or prior work experience in this field. [Your Company Name] is seeking a candidate proficient with GPS devices and software, as well as a quick learner who can easily pick up any new technology integrated into the position. If you’re able to work in the field and the office and are able to stand for long periods of time, this job is for you.
Typical duties and responsibilities
Conduct physical site surveys using surveying tools and equipment
Develop sketches and notes for sites
Process and interpret field data
Collaborate with engineers, architects, urban planners, and more
Calculate accurate specifications of land parcels, lots, and easements
Research and check previous survey findings
Prepare survey documents and results, and present to clients and colleagues
Education and experience
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, technology, civil engineering, or a related field. Before practicing surveying in a jurisdiction, applicants must meet the requirements for licensure established by that jurisdiction.
Required skills and qualifications
Strong mathematics, technical, and analysis abilities
Knowledge of basic hand tools and surveying tools
Knowledge of AutoCAD, Microsoft Office Suite, and surveying software
Ability to remain in a standing position for extended periods
Possess a valid driver’s license
Having ownership in the work you do
Using your talents to positively affect communities
Strong communication skills
Ability to contribute and work well on a team
Associate degree or 2 years of experience as a licensed surveyor
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a surveyor is $70,200 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
Surveyors will often be required to work in good and bad weather alike. The position requires the ability to stand and sit for long periods of time depending on the task since surveying requires both field and office work. A surveyor must be able to stand for long amounts of time and walk to multiple locations not accessible by car. Surveyors are responsible for charting, tracking, and measuring positions accurately in order to assess accurate property lines. A surveyor must specialize in GPS equipment as well as other instruments. Oftentimes, surveyors will survey for title work or topographic maps.
The typical work hours for a surveyor are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, both in an office setting and in the field. When working outside, surveyors may need to stand for long periods or walk relatively long distances.
A company hiring a surveyor will oftentimes look for specific certifications which relate to the job, like the following:
Land Surveying and Geomatics Certification (LSGC) Program. The Land Surveying and Geomatics Certification is a premier certification that defines a group of courses offered in order to apply for licensure as a surveyor. These courses will cover the basics of surveying as well as the advanced information required to gain licensure.
EIT/LSIT Certification. The LSIT certification is a good certification for a land surveyor or engineer training. This certification is a beginner-based certification but easily has applicable information and training for a land surveyor.
Survey Markers and Monumentation. This course and certificate are extremely beneficial in learning the aspects of marking and monumentation which are required for a surveying position.
Becoming a surveyor typically requires a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, technology, civil engineering, or a related field. Also, every surveyor must be licensed to work in any state they wish to work. Licensure can include a college degree from an Accreditation Board for Technology (ABET)-accredited program, passing multiple exams, and several years of work experience.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 17-1022
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
With the increase in the housing market and people constantly developing on new land, surveyors are going to remain a popular job. Though in the next 10 years, it will grow slower than average, it’s not losing any positions, which is a good sign.
Sample interview questions
Do you have any experience with GPS equipment?
What relevant certifications do you have that would apply to this position?
What prior experience do you have with surveying?
What are common surveying tools that you would use to take measurements?
If someone moves a pin, how would you find the correct location for that pin?
Are you comfortable with standing for long periods of time?
Do you enjoy the outdoors or the paperwork side of things better?
How do you make sure you stay up to date with surveying knowledge and technology?
How would you go about calculating land characteristics?
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