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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 200 $50,810
Hoover 200 $50,810
Mobile 90 $57,140
Montgomery 70 $56,370
Huntsville 60 $45,800
Tuscaloosa 50 $49,750
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 330 $88,090
Fairbanks 30 $69,400
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 490 $52,830
Mesa 490 $52,830
Phoenix 490 $52,830
Tucson 110 $52,750
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 330 $44,050
North Little Rock 330 $44,050
Little Rock 330 $44,050
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1010 $86,800
Los Angeles 1010 $86,800
Anaheim 1010 $86,800
Hayward 550 $89,980
San Francisco 550 $89,980
Oakland 550 $89,980
Ontario 460 $83,140
Riverside 460 $83,140
San Bernardino 460 $83,140
Carlsbad 440 $77,270
San Diego 440 $77,270
Sunnyvale 370 $80,580
Santa Clara 370 $80,580
San Jose 370 $80,580
Arden 290 $92,650
Sacramento 290 $92,650
Roseville 290 $92,650
Arcade 290 $92,650
Santa Rosa 130 $71,570
Fresno 130 $91,650
Santa Barbara 70 $78,580
Santa Maria 70 $78,580
Yuba City 60 N/A
Napa 60 $72,730
Bakersfield 60 $73,540
Oxnard 60 $84,530
Ventura 60 $84,530
Thousand Oaks 60 $84,530
Modesto 50 $69,170
Arroyo Grande 50 $95,650
Paso Robles 50 $95,650
San Luis Obispo 50 $95,650
Lodi 40 N/A
Stockton 40 N/A
Redding 40 $104,730
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 630 $52,370
Lakewood 630 $52,370
Denver 630 $52,370
Colorado Springs 100 $50,730
Grand Junction 90 $48,440
Boulder 60 $54,090
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 180 $60,300
East Hartford 180 $60,300
West Hartford 180 $60,300
Stamford 100 $62,410
Bridgeport 100 $62,410
Norwalk 100 $62,410
New Haven 90 $54,860
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 690 $56,150
Fort Lauderdale 690 $56,150
West Palm Beach 690 $56,150
St. Petersburg 560 $60,160
Tampa 560 $60,160
Clearwater 560 $60,160
Jacksonville 350 $45,470
Kissimmee 320 $58,160
Orlando 320 $58,160
Sanford 320 $58,160
Cape Coral 160 $45,450
Fort Myers 160 $45,450
Deltona 90 $48,920
Daytona Beach 90 $48,920
Ormond Beach 90 $48,920
Tallahassee 80 $49,370
Winter Haven 80 $59,070
Lakeland 80 $59,070
Fort Walton Beach 60 $50,030
Crestview 60 $50,030
Destin 60 $50,030
Bradenton 60 $50,230
North Port 60 $50,230
Sarasota 60 $50,230
Port St. Lucie 50 $48,860
Ferry Pass N/A $32,550
Pensacola N/A $32,550
Brent N/A $32,550
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 580 $55,090
Sandy Springs 580 $55,090
Atlanta 580 $55,090
Savannah 50 $53,000
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 140 $58,490
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 120 $64,290
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 40 $58,060
Springfield 30 $61,810
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 180 $57,600
Carmel 180 $57,600
Indianapolis 180 $57,600
Fort Wayne 60 $44,840
West Lafayette 30 $49,920
Lafayette 30 $49,920
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 80 $53,100
Des Moines 80 $53,100
Cedar Rapids 30 $57,630
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 120 $49,680
Topeka 30 $60,270
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 90 $54,560
Lexington 90 $54,560
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 290 $52,560
Baton Rouge 240 $59,880
New Orleans 220 $56,680
Metairie 220 $56,680
Thibodaux 90 $42,810
Houma 90 $42,810
Lake Charles 50 $51,070
Bossier City 40 $59,040
Shreveport 40 $59,040
Alexandria 30 $43,900
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 80 $44,260
Portland 80 $44,260
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 290 $57,850
Columbia 290 $57,850
Baltimore 290 $57,850
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 50 $50,300
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 470 $46,300
Warren 470 $46,300
Detroit 470 $46,300
Wyoming 120 $46,400
Grand Rapids 120 $46,400
East Lansing 100 $59,260
Lansing 100 $59,260
Ann Arbor 40 $50,200
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 100 $43,600
Biloxi 100 $43,600
Gulfport 100 $43,600
Jackson N/A $56,090
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $38,590
Joplin 40 $50,750
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 50 $59,340
Missoula 40 $49,000
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 60 $50,300
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 280 $68,090
Henderson 280 $68,090
Las Vegas 280 $68,090
Reno 70 $78,740
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 30 $69,510
Hammonton 30 $83,120
Atlantic City 30 $83,120
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 120 $61,650
Santa Fe 50 $59,190
Farmington 40 $61,100
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 170 $50,200
Troy 170 $50,200
Schenectady 170 $50,200
Rochester 140 $58,670
Syracuse 40 $50,950
Buffalo 40 $60,220
Cheektowaga 40 $60,220
Niagara Falls 40 $60,220
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 190 $61,240
Asheville 70 $44,100
Wilmington 40 $49,190
Greensboro 40 $60,650
High Point 40 $60,650
Salem N/A $46,560
Winston N/A $46,560
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 90 $59,240
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 220 $48,330
Cleveland 220 $48,330
Columbus 190 $58,560
Akron 120 $59,470
Toledo 50 $57,450
Canton 30 $46,940
Massillon 30 $46,940
Dayton N/A $67,190
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 290 $45,360
Tulsa 220 $50,390
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford 40 $54,980
Eugene 40 $61,980
Salem 40 $83,760
Redmond 30 $59,510
Bend 30 $59,510
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 450 $58,710
Carlisle 120 $60,990
Harrisburg 120 $60,990
Barre 70 $59,930
Hazleton 70 $59,930
Wilkes 70 $59,930
Scranton 70 $59,930
Lancaster 70 $62,390
Reading 60 $58,720
State College 50 $51,080
Hanover 40 $57,600
York 40 $57,600
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 90 $36,830
Carolina 90 $36,830
San Juan 90 $36,830
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 180 $42,600
North Charleston 180 $42,600
Columbia 170 $46,320
Mauldin 100 $47,000
Greenville 100 $47,000
Anderson 100 $47,000
Spartanburg 80 $32,810
Florence 30 $33,580
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 40 $61,320
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 250 $47,800
Murfreesboro 250 $47,800
Davidson 250 $47,800
Nashville 250 $47,800
Knoxville 150 $38,280
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 1890 $54,460
The Woodlands 1890 $54,460
Houston 1890 $54,460
Fort Worth 820 $61,880
Dallas 820 $61,880
Arlington 820 $61,880
Round Rock 430 $62,300
Austin 430 $62,300
San Antonio 400 $53,550
New Braunfels 400 $53,550
Port Arthur 170 $55,550
Beaumont 170 $55,550
Corpus Christi 90 $57,280
Midland 90 $68,490
Mission 80 $34,670
Edinburg 80 $34,670
McAllen 80 $34,670
Wichita Falls 70 $38,140
Tyler 60 $71,090
Bryan 50 $63,230
College Station 50 $63,230
El Paso 50 $64,330
Temple 40 $45,870
Killeen 40 $45,870
Longview 40 $50,700
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 300 $63,520
Clearfield 130 $59,840
Ogden 130 $59,840
Provo 70 $58,670
Orem 70 $58,670
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 270 $44,570
Charlottesville 40 $35,080
Roanoke N/A $57,430
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 480 $76,300
Tacoma 480 $76,300
Bellevue 480 $76,300
Spokane 50 $60,800
Spokane Valley 50 $60,800
Kennewick 40 $67,150
Richland 40 $67,150
Silverdale 40 $69,890
Bremerton 40 $69,890
Tumwater 40 $70,550
Olympia 40 $70,550
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Morgantown 90 $43,480
Charleston 70 $64,560
Beckley 60 $47,740
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 180 $51,940
West Allis 160 $64,260
Waukesha 160 $64,260
Milwaukee 160 $64,260
Green Bay 50 $55,080
Appleton N/A $57,640
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Casper 30 $61,560

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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