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Surveyor

Overview and Key Facts

woman setting up survey equipment tide levelling survey
Education
Education
Bachelor's degree
Median Pay
Median Pay
$61,600
Job Growth
Job Growth
0.90%
(Below US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
50,400

What Do They Do?

A surveyor could...

Overview Listen to this section

Did you know three of the four United States presidents on Mount Rushmore had the proud distinction of being surveyors? Surveying is an unusual mix of law and civil (construction) engineering. Surveyors protect the interests and rights of property owners. They create original legal documents describing property boundaries in land and water, and can act as expert witnesses in property or criminal cases.
Watch this video to discover what a day in the life of a surveyor is like.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Surveyor?


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Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Surveyor might do:
  • 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.
  • Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.
  • Write descriptions of property boundary surveys for use in deeds, leases, or other legal documents.
  • Search legal records, survey records, and land titles to obtain information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.
  • Coordinate findings with the work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with projects.
  • Establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments.
  • Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain.
  • Adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.
  • Record the results of surveys including the shape, contour, location, elevation, and dimensions of land or land features.
  • Train assistants and helpers, and direct their work in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.
  • Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.
  • Determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas, using theodolites, transits, levels, and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Analyze survey objectives and specifications to prepare survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation.
  • Testify as an expert witness in court cases on land survey issues, such as property boundaries.
  • Develop criteria for survey methods and procedures.
  • Plan and conduct ground surveys designed to establish baselines, elevations, and other geodetic measurements.
  • Survey bodies of water to determine navigable channels and to secure data for construction of breakwaters, piers, and other marine structures.
  • Direct aerial surveys of specified geographical areas.
  • Conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Surveyor

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