How to Be Lands Surveyor - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions

The demand for land surveyors is increasing due to a variety of causes. With the population growing and urban development projects on the rise, there is an increased need for accurate boundary and land measurements to ensure proper zoning and development. with new technologies and methods of surveying, such as remote sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), land surveyors are essential for providing precise data.

Furthermore, the need for land surveyors has been further compounded by regulations set by federal and state governments, requiring detailed mapping of land for legal and safety reasons. Thus, the demand for land surveyors is growing as the need for accurate data and measurements continues to increase.

Steps How to Become

  1. Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Aspiring surveyors should pursue a college-preparatory program that emphasizes math and science.
  2. Complete a postsecondary degree in surveying or related field such as engineering, mathematics, geomatics or geography. Most employers prefer applicants who have at least an associate’s degree.
  3. Obtain licensure. All states require that surveyors be licensed in order to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state, but all states require a combination of education, experience and testing.
  4. Consider certification. Several states offer voluntary certification in specialty areas such as boundaries and photogrammetry, which may help applicants stand out to prospective employers.
  5. Obtain work experience. Employers typically require two to four years of experience before they will consider applicants for a full-time position and may prefer to hire candidates with prior surveying experience.
  6. Apply for jobs. Job seekers can use online job boards to find openings at surveying firms or government agencies.

The increasing demand for land in urban areas has caused a surge in the need for professional land surveying services. To ensure that ideal and efficient survey results are achieved, it is important to use the most advanced technologies and equipment. This includes utilizing modern survey instruments such as total stations, GNSS receivers, and laser scanners, as well as employing skilled professionals who understand the latest surveying protocols.

It is also important to have an accurate understanding of the terrain and geography of the land being surveyed. By employing the latest technologies and knowledge of the survey area, professional land surveyors can provide ideal and efficient survey results, ultimately helping to support new developments and infrastructure projects.

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Job Description

  1. Prepare survey plans and reports related to land surveys.
  2. Perform field surveys to collect data on land boundaries, topography, and other features.
  3. Analyze survey data and create maps, diagrams, and other representations of survey results.
  4. Coordinate with property owners, clients, and other stakeholders to ensure accuracy of survey results.
  5. Prepare legal documents such as deeds, easements, and boundary agreements.
  6. Utilize mapping software to analyze and interpret survey data.
  7. Establish boundary lines and points using GPS, laser levels, and other surveying equipment.
  8. Research historical records and documents to resolve boundary disputes.
  9. Monitor activities that could affect survey results, such as construction or land development.
  10. Investigate discrepancies between survey results and public records.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of applicable laws, regulations and standards related to land surveying.
  2. Proficiency in the use of surveying equipment and technology.
  3. Ability to read and interpret maps, plans and other technical documents.
  4. Excellent problem-solving skills.
  5. Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
  6. Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  7. Ability to plan, organize and prioritize tasks effectively.
  8. Ability to perform accurate mathematical calculations.
  9. Attention to detail and accuracy in work product.
  10. Ability to work in various weather conditions and terrains.

Being a Land Surveyor requires a range of skills, but one of the most important is the ability to accurately measure and record land boundaries. This skill is essential for a surveyor to effectively analyze land attributes, such as boundaries, topography, hydrology, and soil type. Accurately measuring land boundaries helps to ensure that land is correctly divided and allocated among different entities, such as homeowners, businesses, and government agencies.

This can have a direct effect on how land is used, which can have significant impacts on local economies and the environment. Furthermore, having a clear understanding of land boundaries is essential for the development of infrastructure projects, such as roads and bridges, as well as for the creation of public parks and recreational areas. As such, the ability to accurately measure and record land boundaries is an essential skill for any successful Land Surveyor.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in land surveying?
  • What methods do you use to ensure accuracy when surveying?
  • How do you stay up-to-date with technology and surveying techniques?
  • How do you handle tight deadlines?
  • Describe a successful project you have completed.
  • What challenges have you faced while surveying?
  • What is your experience with surveying equipment?
  • How do you handle difficult clients or customers?
  • What skills do you have that make you an excellent land surveyor?
  • How do you ensure that all safety procedures are followed during surveying?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Total Station. A survey instrument that combines an electronic theodolite with an electronic distance meter to measure angles and distances. (Eg: Used to measure angles and distances in land surveys)
  2. GPS Receiver. A device that receives signals from satellites to determine its location. (Eg: Used to locate points in land surveys)
  3. Level and Staff. A surveying instrument composed of a staff and a level. (Eg: Used to measure height differences between two points in land surveys)
  4. Compass. An instrument used to measure direction and bearings. (Eg: Used to determine directions in land surveys)
  5. AutoCAD. A computer-aided design software program used to create detailed plans and drawings. (Eg: Used to create detailed plans and drawings for land surveys)
  6. Dumpy Level. An optical surveying instrument used for precise measurement of heights, elevations and land contours. (Eg: Used to measure heights, elevations and land contours in land surveys)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  2. The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)
  3. Association of State Land Surveyors (ASLS)
  4. American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM)
  5. International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
  6. International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)
  7. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  8. Institute of Chartered Surveyors (ICS)
  9. Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG)
  10. American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

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Common Important Terms

  1. Deed. A legal document that conveys the ownership of a property from one party to another.
  2. Plat. A map that shows the exact boundaries and layout of a parcel of land.
  3. Property Line. The boundary line between two adjacent properties and the extent of the ownership of each property.
  4. Right-of-Way. An area of land dedicated for public use, such as for a road or railway.
  5. Subdivision. A division of land into smaller parcels according to a plan.
  6. Topography. The shape and elevation of the land surface including its features, such as hills, valleys, and streams.
  7. Boundary Survey. A survey that defines the boundaries of a parcel of land by referencing certain points located on the land and in the public records.
  8. Construction Layout Survey. A survey that establishes the locations of structures and features such as roads and utilities in relation to a building site.
  9. Elevation Certificate. A document that provides data to determine if buildings are located in compliance with floodplain regulations.
  10. Hydrographic Survey. A survey that measures the depths of bodies of water and determines the shoreline boundaries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to become a Land Surveyor?

In order to become a Land Surveyor, you typically need to have a degree in surveying or land surveying, and be licensed by the state in which you intend to practice.

What types of roles do Land Surveyors perform?

Land Surveyors are responsible for identifying and measuring boundaries, land contours, structures, and other features on the Earth’s surface. They also play a significant role in construction, engineering, and land use planning.

What type of technology do Land Surveyors use?

Land Surveyors use a variety of tools and technologies including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), aerial photography, and terrestrial laser scanning equipment.

What is the average salary of a Land Surveyor?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Land Surveyors is $63,420 as of May 2019.

What is the job outlook for Land Surveyors?

The job outlook for Land Surveyors is projected to grow 7% from 2018-2028. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for land development and infrastructure projects.

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