How to Become a Land Surveyor
Land surveyors measure the distances, directions, and angles between places on the Earth’s surface. They must use a variety of tools and specialized equipment to determine boundaries and important features of a given area of land. They also often research legal records, analyze data, and use evidence of previous boundaries to determine exact legal boundaries. If you would like to take the steps for how to become a land surveyor, the first step is to go back to college to get your career training in this great career field.
What Is It Like to Be a Land Surveyor?
Land surveyors typically work eight hours per day, five days per week, and spend much of that time outdoors. They may work longer hours in the summer because there are more available hours of ideal light conditions and weather. The work is usually very active and sometimes strenuous involving long periods of standing, a great deal of walking, and hill climbing with heavy packs and instruments. They also often find it necessary to travel or temporarily locate to a survey site. When not working outside, surveyors can be found indoors planning surveys, analyzing data, preparing reports, and searching court records for information.
Many people who get the training for how to become a land surveyor perform much of their work through the use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate points with a very high degree of precision. After gathering the positions of all relevant points, the land surveyor will then interpret and double-check the results for accuracy.
Land surveyors typically earn between $55,000 and $85,000 a year for their skills. Surveyors who are self-employed enjoy a greater flexibility in scheduling but fewer employment benefits than those who work for established surveying companies.
What Kind of Schooling Do I Need to Become a Land Surveyor?
Surveyors can become licensed in all 50 States and in every U.S. territory. An increasing number of states are requiring a bachelor’s degree in surveying or a closely related field as part for how to become a land surveyor. This degree is available at many traditional and online colleges. Just make sure your program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
In addition, candidates must pass the Fundamentals of Surveying exam given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering. They must then complete four years of experience under a licensed surveyor before taking the Principles and Practice of Surveying. Additionally, many states require completion of a State licensing examination.
In addition to a formal education, those wishing to enter a career as a land surveyor need the ability to visualize sizes, distances, objects, and abstract forms. They must pay attention to accuracy and precision, be able to work well with a team, and have the physical ability to traverse a variety of terrains in all weather conditions.
Once you meet the requirements for how to become a land surveyor, you will be prepared to enter one of the top careers of our time. Surveyors are needed for a variety of tasks and projects and will always be in demand. If you are ready to enjoy a career that provides you with a constant challenge and an excellent salary, get started on your degree program at a great school now.