What Does A Surveyor Do, And How Become One

The job market for surveyors is a career that has seen a steady increase in popularity over the past few years and most have asked what does a Surveyor do? And how to become One?

The career has many opportunities for growth and can provide a very rewarding experience. 

Those who are interested in pursuing a career as a  Surveyor should be aware of the requirements and learn about the job description as well.

If you are hoping to function as a surveyor, this document is the perfect place to begin, because it gives precise explanations of what a surveyor does and how to become one.

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What Does A Surveyor Do?

Below are some responsibilities and key job duties of a surveyors:

1. Responsible For Mapping Land Are And Boundaries

Mapping land area and boundaries is a vital part of the surveyor job duties. This process helps to identify the property lines and delineate the ownership of the land. The maps created by surveyors provide valuable information for landowners, developers, and government officials.

The first step in mapping land area and boundaries is to conduct a field survey. This involves walking the property lines and taking measurements. 

The surveyor will also take note of any features that could affect the boundary lines, such as trees, fences, or buildings. Once the field survey is complete, the surveyor will create a map of the property.

The second step is to research the legal documents associated with the property. This includes deeds, mortgages, titles, and easements. These documents will help to determine the precise location of the boundary lines. 

They use a variety of tools and equipment to collect data and make measurements, including GPS receivers, lasers, and levels. 

Surveyors also use mathematical formulas to calculate the size, shape, and location of property boundaries.

Read Also: What Does A Surveying Technician Do And How To Become One

2. Creating Record Of Survey Result 

As a surveyor, one of your key job duties is to create a record of survey results. This document provides an official account of the property boundaries that have been surveyed, as well as any features or landmarks that are located within those boundaries.

 In order to create a accurate and reliable record of survey results, you will need to have a strong understanding of both surveying techniques and property law.

To begin creating your record of survey results, you will first need to gather all relevant data from the surveying process. 

This data should include the property boundaries as well as any features or landmarks that are located within those boundaries.

 Once you have this data, you will need to enter it into a computer program in order to generate a map of the surveyed area.

After the data has been entered into the computer program, you will then need to add any necessary annotations or notes. 

3. Surveyor Presents Findings To Clients Or Government Officials 

A surveyor presents findings to clients or government officials in order to help them make informed decisions. They may discuss the results of the survey, as well as any recommendations they have for further action. 

Surveyors must be able to effectively communicate their findings, in order to ensure that their clients or government officials understand the implications of the data. 

4. Supervise And Provide Guidance To Field Staff

As a surveyor, you will be responsible for supervising and providing guidance to field staff. This includes ensuring that field staff are properly trained and equipped to carry out their duties, and that they follow safety procedures. 

You will also be responsible for ensuring that survey equipment is properly maintained and calibrated, and that data is collected accurately. 

In addition, you will need to analyze data collected by field staff, and prepare reports detailing the results of surveys. 

5. Collaborate With Engineers And Architects On Several Projects

As a surveyor, you’ll need to collaborate with engineers and architects on several projects. This collaboration is important in order to ensure that the project is completed accurately and efficiently.

You’ll need to communicate with the engineer or architect about the project’s requirements, and then work together to create a plan for surveying the area. 

Once the survey is complete, you’ll need to analyze the data and provide feedback to the engineer or architect.

This collaboration is essential to the success of any project, and it’s important that you have strong communication skills in order to work effectively with other professionals. 

6. Build Maps, Sketches And Charts

One of the most important duties of a surveyor is to produce maps, sketches and charts. This is done in order to communicate the results of the survey to the client. 

The surveyor must be able to use various software packages in order to create these products.

The map is the most important product that the surveyor produces. It shows the results of the survey in a graphical format. 

The map must be accurate and clear so that it can be used by the client for planning purposes.

The sketch is another important product that the surveyor produces. It is a more detailed drawing of the surveyed area than the map. 

The sketch can be used by the client to get a better understanding of the results of the survey.

The chart is a summary of the data collected during the survey. 

7. Purchase And Maintain Equipment 

As a surveyor, you will need to purchase and maintain equipment. This equipment includes a theodolite, which is a precision instrument used for measuring angles, and a leveling device, which is used to measure the elevation of points.

 You will also need to purchase other items such as tripods, measuring tapes, and level rods. In addition to purchasing equipment, you will also need to maintain it. This includes calibrating the instruments and keeping them clean. 

How To Become A Surveyor 

If you’re interested in a career as a surveyor, here are a few steps you can take to become one. 

1. Complete A Bachelor’s Degree

Completing a bachelor’s degree is the first step to becoming a surveyor. There are many accredited surveying programs available, and most take four years to complete. 

During your studies, you’ll learn about mathematics, physics, and land surveying principles. 

You’ll also gain experience using surveying equipment and software. After completing your degree, you’ll be eligible to take the licensure exam to become a licensed surveyor.

2. Take And Pass The FS Exam

Becoming a surveyor requires passing the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, which is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). 

The FS exam is a computer-based exam that is offered year-round at NCEES-approved testing centers. 

The eight-hour exam consists of 110 multiple-choice questions that cover the topics of ethics, measurements, mathematics, statistics, data analysis, Earth sciences, and laws and regulations.

To prepare for the FS exam, review the NCEES Exam Preparation Materials, which include a practice exam and reference materials. 

Candidates are also encouraged to use other study resources, such as textbooks, professional development courses, and online practice exams. 

3. Gain Work Experience

Most surveyors have a degree in surveying, but gaining work experience is essential to becoming a successful surveyor. There are many ways to gain work experience, such as internships, volunteering, and working as a research assistant.

Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience in the field of surveying. Many surveying firms offer internships to college students interested in pursuing a career in surveying. 

Volunteering is another great way to gain experience. There are many organizations that need volunteers to help with surveys and other tasks.

 Working as a research assistant is another option for those interested in gaining work experience in surveying. Research assistants typically work with professors and other researchers on various projects. 

Most surveyors start their careers by working as an assistant to a licensed surveyor. This is a great way to get on-the-job training and learn the ropes of the profession. Many states also have programs that allow students to work as interns while they are still in school.

4. Take And Pass The PS Exam

To become a professional surveyor, you will need to take and pass the PS (Professional Surveyor) exam. The PS exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

You will need to create an account with NCEES in order to register for the exam. The registration fee is $450, and you will need to submit your transcripts as part of the registration process.

The PS Exam is a computer-based exam that is offered year-round at Pearson VUE testing centers.

 The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, and you will have four hours to complete it.You will need to score a passing grade of 70% or higher on the exam in order to earn your professional surveyor license.

5. Obtain Your Surveyor’s License Through Your State

To become a licensed surveyor, you must first obtain a degree in surveying from an accredited college or university. 

Once you have completed your studies, you must then pass the state’s examination for licensure. In most states, the examination is administered by the board of professional land surveyors. 

After passing the exam, you will be required to complete a certain amount of continuing education credits every year to maintain your license. 


What Skills Do Surveyors Develop Throughout Their Education And Training

Surveyors need a variety of skills to be successful in their field. They must be able to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. They also need strong math skills and the ability to use complex equipment.
Surveyors must be able to read and interpret maps and other technical documents. They must be able to identify land features and calculate distances. They also need to have strong problem-solving skills to be able to find the best solution for each project.
In addition, surveyors need to be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions. They often work long hours, so they must be able to manage their time well. 

What’s The Work Environment Like For Durveyors?

Surveyors spend a lot of time outdoors, working in all types of weather conditions. They may work in remote areas, far from civilization. Surveyors typically work for engineering or construction firms, or they may be self-employed.

How Can A Surveyor Advance Their Career?

There are many ways to advance your career as a surveyor.
One way to advance your career is to become certified by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS). NSPS certification demonstrates your knowledge and competence in the field of surveying. To become certified, you must pass an examination administered by the NSPS.
Another way to advance your career is to pursue a higher level of education. Many surveyors hold at least a bachelor’s degree in surveying or a related field. However, some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree or even a PhD. 

How To Become A  Surveyor Without A Degree 

There are many ways that one can become a surveyor without obtaining a degree in the field. Many companies are willing to train individuals with little to no experience in exchange for a long-term commitment to the company. 
There are also many online courses available that can provide the necessary skills and knowledge to become a surveyor.
With the right skills and experience, it is possible for anyone to become a successful surveyor, regardless of whether or not they have a degree in the field. 

How Much Is A Surveyor Salary ?

A surveyor’s salary depends on many factors, including experience, education, and location. In the United States, the median salary for a surveyor is $62,860 per year. Surveyors with more experience can earn higher salaries, and those who work in certain parts of the country may also earn more.

How To Become A Land Surveyor Online?

There are many ways that one can become a land surveyor online. The most common way is to take an accredited online course that will give you the necessary education and training to become a licensed land surveyor. 
There are many different schools that offer these courses, so it is important to do your research before enrolling in any one program.
Another way to become a land surveyor online is to find an apprenticeship program that offers distance learning options. These programs typically require you to complete some on-the-job training, but they also allow you to complete coursework online. 

What Are The Types Of Surveyors 

There are different types of surveyors, each with their own specialty. The most common type of surveyor is a licensed land surveyor. Other types of surveyors include construction surveyors, geodetic surveyors, hydrographic surveyors, photogrammetric surveyors, and surveying technicians. 
There are different types of surveyors, each with their own specialty. The most common type of surveyor is a licensed land surveyor. Other types of surveyors include construction surveyors, geodetic surveyors, hydrographic surveyors, photogrammetric surveyors, and surveying technicians. 

Do You Need To Be Good At Math To Be A Surveyor?

The short answer is yes, you do need to be good at maths to be a surveyor. Surveying relies heavily on mathematical principles and calculations, so a strong foundation in mathematics is essential. However, being good at maths is not the only requirement for becoming a surveyor. 

Is Land Surveying Boring?

If you’re considering a career in land surveying, you may be wondering if the job is boring. After all, wouldn’t spending all day measuring property lines get old fast? In fact, land surveying can be a very exciting and interesting profession. 

Is Surveying Physically Demanding?

While surveying can be a mentally challenging profession, it is not generally considered a physically demanding job. 
However, there are times when surveys require physical labor, such as when measuring large tracts of land or climbing trees to get a better view of the area. Even in these instances, though, the surveyor typically has assistants who do the majority of the heavy lifting


If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career that offers plenty of opportunity for growth, then consider becoming a surveyor.

 With the right education and training, you can make a lasting contribution to your community and the built environment. 

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