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Life As a Surveyor

Occupation Description 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.

Life As a Surveyor

  • Conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing.
  • Coordinate findings with the work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with projects.
  • Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.
  • Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.
  • Testify as an expert witness in court cases on land survey issues, such as property boundaries.
  • Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.

Surveyor Required Skills

These are the skills Surveyors say are the most useful in their careers:

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Mineral Surveyor
  • Home Surveyor
  • Survey Superintendent
  • Land Examiner
  • Registered Public Surveyor

Are There Job Opportunities for Surveyors?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 44,800 jobs in the United States for Surveyors.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,000 new jobs for Surveyors by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,800 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Surveyors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Surveyors are Texas, Florida, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or Hawaii. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Surveyors Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Surveyors ranges between about $35,160 and $102,220 a year. The median salary is $62,580.

Salary Ranges for Surveyors

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

California

$91,010

Washington

$85,860

Nevada

$80,520

Alaska

$79,940

New York

$77,660

North Dakota

$75,360

New Mexico

$74,470

Delaware

$73,110

Illinois

$72,540

Connecticut

$70,810

North Carolina

$70,460

Virginia

$70,230

New Jersey

$70,120

Utah

$69,150

Oregon

$68,130

South Dakota

$67,970

Wyoming

$66,160

Colorado

$66,010

Massachusetts

$66,000

Minnesota

$65,950

Hawaii

$65,880

West Virginia

$65,750

Idaho

$65,550

Iowa

$65,250

Maryland

$65,220

New Hampshire

$63,710

Montana

$63,020

Wisconsin

$62,820

Louisiana

$62,810

Ohio

$62,520

Pennsylvania

$62,400

Arizona

$62,050

Indiana

$60,890

Rhode Island

$60,070

Texas

$59,980

Missouri

$59,980

Georgia

$59,500

Maine

$59,360

Michigan

$58,850

Kansas

$58,420

Florida

$57,930

Kentucky

$56,510

Alabama

$56,010

Nebraska

$54,750

Oklahoma

$54,130

Vermont

$51,890

South Carolina

$49,570

Tennessee

$49,280

Arkansas

$48,880

Mississippi

$46,660

What Tools & Technology do Surveyors Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Surveyors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Trimble Terramodel
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • MicroSurveyCAD
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Carlson SurvCADD

Where Surveyors Are Employed

Surveyor Sectors

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming Surveyors might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Surveying Technicians

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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