Surveyor Career

surveyor-500Surveyors work at jobs where they have to make precise measurements in order to determine the boundaries of a particular property. If you are a surveyor, you would gather information about the shape and contour of the earth’s surface. That data would then be used for engineering, construction or map-making projects.

Surveyors often use the Global Positioning System (GPS), which is a system of satellites that can find reference points very precisely. Handheld GPS units as well as robotic total stations help surveyors collect relevant information about the terrain they are surveying. The collected data is then sent to a computer and later analyzed and interpreted by surveyors.

As a surveyor, you would need to measure distances and angles between points on the earth’s surface. This work would probably require travel to different jobs sites. You may have to research land records and titles as well as survey records to determine where boundary lines are located.

Surveyor Career Snapshot

Most surveyors work with companies providing architectural, engineering, and related services. Some work with government agencies or construction companies. The work environment may involve both office work and field duties. If assigned to the latter, travel and significant time away from home may be required.

Further details on a career as a surveyor are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average annual salary for surveyors.


decrease in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 15% have a Post-secondary certificate.

Surveyor Education

Most surveyors have earned a bachelor’s degree with a small percentage earning a post-secondary certificate.

Surveyor Job Duties

Surveyors spend time recording the survey results and verifying their data. If you choose this line of work, you might spend time preparing plots, maps and reports as well as presenting the information to others. You would be responsible for establishing official water and land boundaries for official documents like deeds and leases.

Surveyor Salaries

The median pay for surveyors in 2015 as reported by the was $58,020 with entry level jobs starting around $32,850 and the top earners making $95,800.

Surveyor Job Outlook

Between 2014 and 2024, the demand for surveyors is expected to decline by 2 percent due to technological advancements in robotics and related developments. However, surveyors will still be needed to work with this advanced technology, certify boundary lines and review construction sites.

Surveyor Career Skills & Traits

Surveyor Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Surveyors:Typical Work Activities:
• Reading Comprehension
• Mathematics
• Critical Thinking
• Speaking
• Writing
• Mathematical Reasoning
• Number Facility
• Deductive Reasoning
• Oral Expression
• Speech Clarity
• Laser measuring systems
• Do lasers
• Automatic levels
• Measuring rods
• Electronic digital theodolites
• Getting Information
• Working with Computers
• Decision Making
• Documenting Information
• Processing Information

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