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Surveyors picture    Surveyors image

Surveyors

Surveyors provide data regarding the location, shape, contour, elevation or dimensions of land or land features. Surveyors set official land, water and airspace boundaries. They provide written descriptions of land for leases, deeds and other types of legal documents. They also take measurements of construction and mineral sites. Some surveyors define airspace for airports.

Surveyors measure directions, distances and angles between points on, below and above the surface of the earth. A surveyor utilizes specialized equipment to determine the precise location of important features in the survey area. They use the Global Positioning System to locate reference points with a high degree of precision.

Geophysical prospecting surveyors mark sites for subsurface exploration, typically to search for petroleum. Geodetic surveyors measure large areas of the earth's surface using high-accuracy techniques, including satellite observations. Marine or hydraulic surveyors survey rivers, harbors and other bodies of water in order to determine shorelines, water depth, the topography of the bottom and other features.

Some sample job titles are land surveyor, county surveyor, geodesist, mine surveyor, professional land surveyor and licensed land surveyor.

Responsibilities

  • Evaluate data to determine the location of boundary lines
  • Perform surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties based on legal deeds and titles
  • Research legal records, land titles and surveys to obtain information regarding property boundaries
  • Develop and maintain maps, sketches, legal descriptions and reports of surveys
  • Look for evidence of previous boundaries
  • Prepare plots, reports and maps
  • Provide testimony in court regarding their work or the work of other surveyors
  • Calculate depths, heights, property lines, relative positions and other characteristics of terrain/li>
  • Verify the accuracy of survey data including measurements and calculations performed at survey sites
  • Write descriptions of property boundary surveys for use in leases, deeds and other legal documents

Job Characteristics

Surveyors usually work 40 hours a week and spend a lot of time outdoors. They sometimes walk far distances and climb hills with heavy backpacks containing instruments and other equipment. They also stand for long periods of time. Travel is sometimes part of the occupation. They also may temporarily live near a surveyor site. In addition, a surveyor needs to work with precision and accuracy. They also need good analytical skills.

Employment Outlook

The employment growth for surveyors has been forecasted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 15 percent from 2008 to 2018. The median annual wages for surveyors in 2008 was $52,980. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $85,620.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most surveyors need a bachelor's degree in surveying or a related field. Many vocational schools and community colleges provide one-year, two-year and three-year programs in surveying or surveying technology.

Every state licenses surveyors. For licensure, most state licensing boards require applicants to pass a series of written examinations provided by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Most states also require surveyors to pass a written examination developed by the state licensing board.

The requirements for education and training vary among the states. An increasing number of states require surveyors to have a bachelor's degree in surveying or in a closely related subject such as civil engineering or forestry, regardless of the number of years of experience. Some states require surveyors to have a degree from a school that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employers are the architectural, engineering and related services industry, surveying services firms, drafting services firms, and federal, state and local government agencies.

Schools for Surveyors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Surveyors

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Surveyors jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 130 $52,640
Hoover 130 $52,640
Mobile 100 $56,880
Montgomery 80 $55,580
Huntsville 50 $44,270
Florence 30 $53,810
Muscle Shoals 30 $53,810
Tuscaloosa 30 $66,140
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 250 $81,880
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 430 $55,340
Mesa 430 $55,340
Phoenix 430 $55,340
Tucson 130 $56,920
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 380 $42,880
North Little Rock 380 $42,880
Little Rock 380 $42,880
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1110 $89,600
Los Angeles 1110 $89,600
Anaheim 1110 $89,600
Oakland 590 $89,560
Hayward 590 $89,560
San Francisco 590 $89,560
San Diego 510 $75,720
Carlsbad 510 $75,720
Riverside 410 $90,080
San Bernardino 410 $90,080
Ontario 410 $90,080
Arcade 380 $87,750
Arden 380 $87,750
Sacramento 380 $87,750
Roseville 380 $87,750
Sunnyvale 250 $81,900
Santa Clara 250 $81,900
San Jose 250 $81,900
Fresno 140 $94,500
Santa Rosa 110 $81,070
Thousand Oaks 80 $92,410
Ventura 80 $92,410
Oxnard 80 $92,410
Santa Maria 70 $78,180
Santa Barbara 70 $78,180
San Luis Obispo 70 $95,700
Paso Robles 70 $95,700
Arroyo Grande 70 $95,700
Yuba City 60 $-1,111
Napa 50 $50,270
Modesto 50 $68,000
Lodi 40 $-1,111
Stockton 40 $-1,111
Bakersfield 40 $78,430
Redding 40 $95,720
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 710 $60,580
Denver 710 $60,580
Aurora 710 $60,580
Colorado Springs 140 $55,160
Fort Collins 120 $60,860
Grand Junction 100 $49,050
Boulder 90 $57,190
Greeley 60 $67,910
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 170 $58,990
West Hartford 170 $58,990
Hartford 170 $58,990
Stamford 140 $62,550
Norwalk 140 $62,550
Bridgeport 140 $62,550
New Haven 90 $58,400
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 850 $57,120
Miami 850 $57,120
Fort Lauderdale 850 $57,120
St. Petersburg 540 $56,770
Clearwater 540 $56,770
Tampa 540 $56,770
Orlando 400 $60,430
Kissimmee 400 $60,430
Sanford 400 $60,430
Jacksonville 340 $41,830
Fort Myers 220 $47,530
Cape Coral 220 $47,530
Daytona Beach 130 $57,240
Deltona 130 $57,240
Ormond Beach 130 $57,240
Lakeland 100 $57,430
Winter Haven 100 $57,430
Port St. Lucie 90 $-1,111
Bradenton 70 $50,680
Sarasota 70 $50,680
North Port 70 $50,680
Tallahassee 60 $53,520
Fort Walton Beach 60 $57,480
Destin 60 $57,480
Crestview 60 $57,480
Marco Island 60 $67,810
Immokalee 60 $67,810
Naples 60 $67,810
Pensacola -2222 $35,180
Brent -2222 $35,180
Ferry Pass -2222 $35,180
Titusville -2222 $60,590
Melbourne -2222 $60,590
Palm Bay -2222 $60,590
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 640 $55,300
Sandy Springs 640 $55,300
Atlanta 640 $55,300
Savannah 60 $52,290
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 130 $62,210
Lahaina 30 $58,580
Wailuku 30 $58,580
Kahului 30 $58,580
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 150 $62,660
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 50 $66,180
Urbana 30 $56,490
Champaign 30 $56,490
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 220 $64,960
Anderson 220 $64,960
Carmel 220 $64,960
Fort Wayne 70 $45,950
Elkhart 40 $57,930
Goshen 40 $57,930
West Lafayette 30 $51,520
Lafayette 30 $51,520
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 50 $58,610
Des Moines 50 $58,610
Cedar Rapids 40 $56,950
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 100 $49,880
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 110 $56,570
Lexington 110 $56,570
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 290 $57,370
New Orleans 180 $57,660
Metairie 180 $57,660
Lafayette 160 $55,380
Thibodaux 50 $47,480
Houma 50 $47,480
Lake Charles 50 $50,300
Shreveport 40 $58,810
Bossier City 40 $58,810
Alexandria 30 $48,620
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 100 $48,580
Portland 100 $48,580
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 370 $59,340
Columbia 370 $59,340
Baltimore 370 $59,340
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 70 $51,520
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 600 $51,510
Dearborn 600 $51,510
Detroit 600 $51,510
Wyoming 140 $47,060
Grand Rapids 140 $47,060
East Lansing 80 $61,280
Lansing 80 $61,280
Ann Arbor 50 $59,520
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 170 $53,960
Pascagoula 100 $47,110
Gulfport 100 $47,110
Biloxi 100 $47,110
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 50 $45,480
Joplin 40 $51,740
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 60 $61,160
Missoula 50 $60,280
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 80 $55,430
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 250 $67,290
Henderson 250 $67,290
Las Vegas 250 $67,290
Reno 70 $84,440
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hammonton 40 $81,350
Atlantic City 40 $81,350
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 130 $61,340
Santa Fe 80 $59,680
Farmington 30 $50,430
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 170 $55,850
Troy 170 $55,850
Schenectady 170 $55,850
Rochester 150 $59,410
Niagara Falls 50 $58,260
Cheektowaga 50 $58,260
Buffalo 50 $58,260
Utica 40 $52,680
Rome 40 $52,680
Syracuse -2222 $55,850
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 190 $72,990
Asheville 80 $48,200
Wilmington 60 $55,660
High Point 50 $55,640
Greensboro 50 $55,640
Durham 40 $52,970
Chapel Hill 40 $52,970
Salem -2222 $48,680
Winston -2222 $48,680
Greenville -2222 $53,860
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 130 $61,040
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 250 $49,510
Cleveland 250 $49,510
Columbus 190 $58,390
Akron 110 $61,990
Toledo 60 $59,390
Canton -2222 $46,260
Massillon -2222 $46,260
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 250 $44,610
Tulsa 210 $49,170
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Redmond 50 $64,220
Bend 50 $64,220
Eugene 50 $64,360
Salem 40 $84,660
Medford 30 $55,250
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 410 $60,570
Harrisburg 120 $62,410
Carlisle 120 $62,410
Lancaster 70 $62,460
Barre 60 $56,860
Hazleton 60 $56,860
Scranton 60 $56,860
Wilkes 60 $56,860
Reading 60 $59,140
State College 50 $49,460
Hanover 50 $56,370
York 50 $56,370
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 100 $31,660
Carolina 100 $31,660
San Juan 100 $31,660
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 210 $43,100
Charleston 210 $43,100
Columbia 180 $48,770
Anderson 80 $42,760
Greenville 80 $42,760
Mauldin 80 $42,760
Florence 40 $30,980
Spartanburg 40 $41,450
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 50 $71,550
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 290 $47,400
Nashville 290 $47,400
Murfreesboro 290 $47,400
Davidson 290 $47,400
Knoxville 100 $43,970
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1550 $59,130
Houston 1550 $59,130
The Woodlands 1550 $59,130
Arlington 770 $58,210
Fort Worth 770 $58,210
Dallas 770 $58,210
Round Rock 430 $47,970
Austin 430 $47,970
New Braunfels 340 $57,500
San Antonio 340 $57,500
Beaumont 140 $62,430
Port Arthur 140 $62,430
Corpus Christi 100 $49,630
McAllen 60 $32,820
Edinburg 60 $32,820
Mission 60 $32,820
El Paso 60 $51,650
Longview 50 $43,090
Midland 50 $61,710
Tyler 40 $61,160
College Station 40 $66,120
Bryan 40 $66,120
Lubbock 30 $42,970
Temple 30 $47,970
Killeen 30 $47,970
Waco 30 $48,490
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 300 $63,990
Clearfield 130 $61,470
Ogden 130 $61,470
Orem 80 $59,820
Provo 80 $59,820
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $46,350
Burlington 40 $46,350
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 300 $49,340
Roanoke 60 $57,120
Lynchburg 40 $42,140
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 490 $84,150
Tacoma 490 $84,150
Bellevue 490 $84,150
Spokane 50 $60,560
Spokane Valley 50 $60,560
Tumwater 50 $74,380
Olympia 50 $74,380
Kennewick 40 $66,390
Richland 40 $66,390
Silverdale 30 $65,450
Bremerton 30 $65,450
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 90 $46,290
Charleston 80 $52,930
Beckley 40 $47,740
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 230 $58,260
West Allis 230 $58,260
Milwaukee 230 $58,260
Madison 160 $44,880
Green Bay 50 $57,030
Appleton -2222 $57,700
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 30 $47,600

Most Popular Industries for :
Surveyors

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 44,470 80% $52,030
Government 5,460 9% $61,320
Civil Engineering 2,280 4% $51,480
Construction 1,130 2% $55,000
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Surveyors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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