Land Surveying Career Video: Becoming a Land Surveyor

Land Surveying Career Video: Becoming a Land Surveyor Transcript

Land surveying is a field that relates to the construction and architecture industries. By conducting a land survey, surveying professionals can measure and map surfaces to establish boundaries and limitations. These calculations can help others in related fields complete structures, roads and similar building jobs.


Land surveyors establish boundaries on land and water by measuring and mapping out surfaces around them. They are able to provide other professionals with important information, such as the location, elevation, dimension or shape of different land and water areas. These measurements are critical when planning construction and other projects. Land surveying is a field that requires some training outside of high school. Many times an associate's degree is adequate to break into the field, but employers do look to those with bachelor's degrees. Each state also mandates the licensing of land surveyors.

Job Duties and Skills

The job duties of a land surveyor include writing descriptions of measurements, locations and elevations of land for things such as deeds and legal documents. They use specialized equipment to survey points of reference and determine locations, boundaries, and plots locations. As a land surveyor, you need to be in good physical condition since the majority of your work is done outdoors, many times in uneasy or difficult terrain. You need to be very accurate in your data production and be able to utilize the proper equipment to prepare maps, plots and reports. Because you are dealing with information that can affect the construction of buildings and roads, attention to detail and accuracy in your calculations is a must.

Training Required

Although on the job training is available, most land surveying positions require a bachelor's degree. There are quite a few universities that offer bachelor degree programs in land surveying. Other areas of study can include forestry or civil engineering. Many technical colleges also offer similar programs in land surveying technology or civil engineering skills. In addition to training, each state requires land surveyors to be licensed. The licensing procedure requires passage of a series of written exams that are administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Upon completion of the first exam, surveyors typically work for up to four years under direct supervision of a more experienced surveyor. At that time, the second licensing exam is taken.

Career Opportunities

Land surveyors often find themselves working in the architectural, engineering or construction industries. Other areas can include federal, state, or local government. Upon the initial completion of school, entry-level surveyors typically begin as assistants or technicians. With additional training and certifications, they are able to advance to a senior-level position rather quickly. State requirements may also mandate advanced position requirements.


The role of a land surveyor is important in the areas of construction, engineering and architecture. It is a profession that demands good physical condition and the ability to work outside for extended periods of time. If this line of work interests you, a career in land surveying might just be the perfect fit.


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