How to Become a Surveyor

Surveyors work in a wide range of industries including architecture, engineering and other related services.

These professionals use their skills, experience and education in order to study, calculating the surface of the Earth and finally mapping it.

Depending on the industry, Surveyors will gather and analyze different kinds of information of the Earth for different purposes.

They may work with legal information to determine boundaries.

In order to complete a surveying project, professionals will use a variety of complex technological equipment in order to determine precise measurements.

Some specialized surveying careers include Geodetic Surveyors, Geophysical prospecting surveyors, and Marine/Hydrographic surveyors.

Students who want to become a Surveyor can also look into becoming a surveying or mapping technicians.

Search for Surveyor Programs Now!
Choose a Program

sponsored schools

These professionals don’t have as many responsibilities as a Surveyor or make as much in wages but the educational requirements aren’t as extensive or require as much schooling.

Education Requirements to Become a Surveyor

In order for candidates to become a Surveyor, they must have completed a Surveying program and seek licensure from their state.

However, a handful of states may accept candidates with a high school diploma and certification.

Surveying programs can be found at a number of colleges, universities, vocational and technical schools and some community colleges.

Programs to become a Surveyor can be completed by attending a one yea r, two year, three year or four year educational institution.

Students can attend a program that focuses on surveying or surveying technology.

All states have different qualifications when licensing Surveyors but the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) lists four general steps to becoming licensed.

Make sure to research your state’s requirements in order to become a Surveyor.

According to the steps implemented by the NCESS, the first one has already been mentioned above, completing the appropriate educational requirements.

The second step would be to complete the Fundamentals of Surveying Exam FS Exam.

Passing the first exam would then qualify a candidate for the third step?to work under the guidance of an experienced surveyor for a minimum of four years.

Finally, the last step requires the candidate to pass the Principles and Practice of Surveying exam PS Exam.

Passing the final certification exam would allow candidates to work independently without the guidance and supervision of another Surveyor.

Surveyor Job Description

Depending on the specialization they go into, Surveyors can be responsible for a variety of tasks.

For the most part, Surveyors will use a variety of technology and equipment to measure the surface of the Earth and determine water, airspace and land boundaries.

All the information they gather will be used to establish and write descriptions for land which is then used to create deeds and other documentation.

The airspace information would be used to create boundaries for airports.

Finally the information they gather is also important in order to determine the measurements for mining and construction sites.

Surveyors who specialize in a specific industry will perform variations of the aforementioned obligations.

For example, Geodetic Surveyors will use highly advanced techniques and use satellite surveillance in order to calculate the surface of the Earth.

Marine/hydrographic surveyors work specifically on studying bodies of water and their boundaries.

These bodies of waters include shorelines, harbors, and the depth of water in certain areas.

Geophysical prospecting surveyors mark locations that will be used to explore the subsurface of the Earth for mining in order to search for things such as petroleum.

Surveyor Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2008 the median wage for surveying professionals was approximately $52,980 per year.

The salary range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $29,000 to $85,600 per year.

Surveying Technicians assist Surveyors in collecting data.

These professionals had a median income of $35,000 in 2008 with a salary range of $21,600 to $58,000 per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that this profession is expected to experience a healthy growth through the year 2018.

The BLS reports that this growth will be approximately 19%.

This expected growth can be attributed to the fact that accurate geographic information will be high in demand from various sources.

Top Programs

Find a Program