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

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Steps How to Become

  1. Earn a High School Diploma or GED. To become a surveyor, you must have a high school diploma or a GED.
  2. Get Necessary Education. Most surveyors have a minimum of an associate degree in surveying, engineering, or related field. Some states may require a bachelor's degree in surveying.
  3. Complete an Internship. Many surveying programs allow students to complete an internship program to gain hands-on experience in the field. This can be done through a local surveying office or through a college or university program.
  4. Become Licensed. All states require surveyors to be licensed and certified. To obtain a license, you must pass an exam and have a minimum of two years of experience in the field.
  5. Obtain Additional Certifications. Many surveyors also obtain additional certifications, such as those from the National Society of Professional Surveyors or the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.
  6. Continue Education. It is important for surveyors to stay up-to-date with changes and advancements in the field, so continuing education is important.

The key to becoming skilled and capable is to practice consistently and to be open to learning. Consistent practice builds familiarity and understanding of the skill, while being open to learning allows for the acquisition of new knowledge and techniques. By combining these two elements, an individual can continually improve their skills and capabilities, allowing them to achieve more challenging goals and reach greater heights of success.

Furthermore, dedication and perseverance are also essential components in the process of becoming skilled and capable; without them, progress can stall or even regress. with enough dedication and hard work, anyone can become skilled and capable in any area they choose.

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Job Description

  1. Survey Technician: Responsible for carrying out field surveys, collecting data from clients, preparing survey plans and reports, and providing technical support.
  2. Survey Project Manager: Oversees the planning, execution and completion of survey projects, ensuring quality assurance and customer satisfaction.
  3. GIS Analyst: Creates and maintains geographic information systems (GIS) databases and creates detailed maps from survey data.
  4. Land Surveyor: Prepares legal documents to define land boundaries, measure distances and angles between points, and establish land elevations.
  5. Geospatial Engineer: Develops and maintains geospatial systems, software, and databases to process and analyze geospatial data.
  6. Hydrographic Surveyor: Collects information on the depths of rivers, lakes, oceans and other bodies of water to produce accurate maps and charts.
  7. Mining Surveyor: Uses surveying techniques to measure and map out mine sites, tunnels and shafts.

Skills and Competencies to Have

  1. Knowledge of surveying techniques and software
  2. Ability to read and interpret topographic maps
  3. Knowledge of relevant legislation and regulations
  4. Ability to plan and execute field surveys
  5. Proficiency in using GPS systems, total stations, and other survey equipment
  6. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  7. Strong problem-solving abilities
  8. Ability to work independently and in a team
  9. Good physical fitness and stamina
  10. Ability to work in all types of weather conditions

An important skill to have in any profession is the ability to effectively communicate. This is because effective communication is essential for effectively interacting with other people, making decisions, and resolving conflicts. Having good communication skills helps individuals to express their opinions, listen to the opinions of others, and negotiate solutions that are beneficial to all involved parties.

Furthermore, strong communication skills can help foster better relationships with colleagues and customers, leading to improved collaboration and higher productivity. having the ability to effectively communicate can help managers better motivate their teams and make better decisions. the ability to effectively communicate is a key factor that can lead to success in any profession.

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Frequent Interview Questions

  • What experience do you have in surveying?
  • How do you ensure accuracy and precision when surveying?
  • What methods do you use to measure distance and angle when surveying?
  • How do you analyze data and results from a survey?
  • How do you stay up to date with the latest technology and techniques for surveying?
  • Describe a challenging project you have worked on in the past.
  • What safety procedures do you follow when conducting a survey?
  • How do you manage survey projects from start to finish?
  • What challenges have you encountered when conducting a survey?
  • What strategies have you implemented to ensure accuracy and quality work in your surveys?

Common Tools in Industry

  1. Screwdriver. A tool used for turning screws. (eg: Phillips head screwdriver)
  2. Hammer. A tool used for driving nails. (eg: Claw hammer)
  3. Wrench. A tool used for turning nuts and bolts. (eg: Adjustable wrench)
  4. Pliers. A tool used for gripping and twisting. (eg: Needle nose pliers)
  5. Saw. A tool used for cutting wood or other materials. (eg: Crosscut saw)
  6. Drill. A tool used for creating holes. (eg: Electric drill)
  7. Level. A tool used for determining whether a surface is level. (eg: Bubble level)
  8. Tape Measure. A tool used for measuring distances. (eg: Steel tape measure)
  9. Staple Gun. A tool used for attaching staples to materials. (eg: Electric staple gun)
  10. Surveyor's Wheel. A tool used for measuring distances outdoors. (eg: Telescoping surveyor's wheel)

Professional Organizations to Know

  1. American Planning Association (APA)
  2. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  3. Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)
  4. National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)
  5. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
  6. Urban Land Institute (ULI)
  7. International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
  8. American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
  9. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  10. American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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Common Important Terms

  1. Surveyor. A professional who measures land, collects data, and prepares maps of the area. They are also responsible for the legal description of a property and the certification of boundary lines.
  2. Topography. The physical features of an area, including its elevation, slope, and drainage patterns.
  3. Geodesy. The science of measuring and understanding the shape, size, and gravity of the Earth.
  4. Geomatics. The use of advanced technologies such as GPS, GIS, and remote sensing to measure and manage spatial data.
  5. GIS. A system for capturing, storing, analyzing, and managing geographical data.
  6. Hydrography. The science of measuring and charting bodies of water such as oceans, seas, and rivers.
  7. GIScience. An interdisciplinary field of study that combines research in geography, cartography, computer science, mathematics, and statistics to solve spatial problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Surveyor?

A Surveyor is a professional who measures and maps land to assess boundaries and create detailed plans.

What qualifications do Surveyors need?

Surveyors typically require a degree in surveying or a related field such as engineering or geography, as well as professional accreditation from the relevant surveying bodies in their region.

What equipment do Surveyors use?

Surveyors use a range of tools and instruments such as total stations, GPS systems, and laser scanners to accurately measure and map land.

What type of work do Surveyors do?

Surveyors can be involved in a variety of tasks such as establishing boundaries, creating topographic maps, measuring land for construction projects, and more.

How much do Surveyors earn?

According to, the median salary for a Surveyor in the United States is $60,423 per year.

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