Whether the project is measuring the depth needed for a skyscraper’s foundation or mapping backyard boundaries, a surveyor steps in to get the lay of the land. Surveyors use sophisticated technology to take precise measurements of the Earth’s surface for maps and construction projects. They prevent—or help to resolve— boundary disputes for both home and business owners by documenting legal property lines, and helping determine the exact locations of real estate and building projects. During construction, surveyors determine the precise location of roads or buildings and proper depths for building foundations. They conduct research on land records and titles to show changes to a property line, and report on restrictions, such as the type and size of structures that may be built on a property. Most surveyors work for surveying or engineering companies; some work in construction or for government offices. Although surveyors spend time in offices, fieldwork is essential, and often involves standing for extended periods and walking long distances, sometimes hauling heavy equipment, in all kinds of weather. Most work full time. Surveyors typically need a bachelor’s degree in surveying, or a related field. A license is needed to certify legal documents and provide surveying services to the public. In addition to passing the licensure exams, surveyors generally need several years’ experience working under a licensed surveyor to obtain a license.
What they do:
Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.
On the job, you would:
Verify the accuracy of survey data, including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.
Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.
Prepare or supervise preparation of all data, charts, plots, maps, records, and documents related to surveys.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
using math to solve problems
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
notice when problems happen
imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Geocomp Systems GeoNav
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Computer aided design CAD software
bachelor's degree or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.