Surveyors essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $55,590
- 2011, number of jobs: 42,020
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 25 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Surveyors; what they do:
Surveyors set the boundaries for pretty much everyone; they determine boarders on land, water, and airspace. Utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS), surveyors measure above and below the Earth’s surface to draw maps and determine the ownership lines of properties, define airspace or airports, and measure construction and mining sites.
Surveyors also use special equipment to pinpoint locations of important features, research land records, and prepare plots, maps, and reports. A surveyor career includes writing land descriptions for deeds, leases, and other legal documents. A surveyor career may include providing professional testimony in court.
Surveyors generally perform their work in a group consisting of a licensed surveyor and survey technicians. A surveyor career involves working with a variety of people including civil engineers, landscape architects, urban and regional planners, cartographers, and construction managers.
Some surveyors specialize as geodetic surveyors, geophysical prospect surveyors, and marine or hydrographic surveyors.
Surveyors job titles:
- County Surveyor
- Land Surveyor
- Property Surveyor
- Survey Party Chief
- Engineering Technician
- Licensed Land Surveyor
- Mine Surveyor
Surveyors Education, Certification and License Requirements
Typically, surveyors need a bachelor’s degree, such as a Bachelor in Surveying Technology degree or a Bachelor in Surveying Science degree or a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as civil engineering or forestry.
Surveyors programs cover subjects such as:
- Boundary Laws
- Statistics and probability
- Remote sensing
Surveyors must have a license to provide public surveying services and to certify legal documents in any of the 50 states. Unlicensed surveyors may only work as survey technicians under the direction of a licensed surveyor.
Individuals can acquire a surveyor license with a bachelor’s degree and generally a minimum of four years of work experience under the direction of a licensed surveyor. Surveyors must also pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam, and any other state-specific qualifications for licensure.
Surveyors Job Outlook
Forecast: 25 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for surveyor jobs, faster than the average for all occupations.
Employment for surveyors is influenced by real estate sales and construction activity, which are also heavily influenced by economic conditions. Firms are also gaining interest in surveying work, as it’s vital to creating Geographic Information Systems (GIS), used for marketing, security, planning, natural resource exploration, construction, and other things.
- 2011 median annual wage: $55,590
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $73,510
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $40,790
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Local government, excluding education and hospitals
- Heavy and civil engineering construction
- State government, excluding education and hospitals