CAREERS IN  LAND SURVEYING    

RENTON TECHNICAL COLLEGE 

3000 N.E. Fourth Street Renton, WA 98056-4195 425-235-2338 

www.rtc.edu 

   

WHAT SK

ILLS DO I NEED TO MAKE IT

WHO ARE LAND SURVEYORS???

 

Land Surveyors are professionals who measure and make maps of the land. They make angle and distance measurements to precision of a few millimeters. Surveyors also use the Global Positioning System (GPS) for many of their measurements. Surveyors set permanent markers in the ground to serve as a record of their work. You and I may use such markings to find our property lines, or to plan our building locations. Surveyors' measurements serve as the basis for nearly all maps, making it possible for these maps to be drawn in their proper scales and proportions. Surveying has been recognized as a profession throughout American history, with Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln practicing during parts of their careers. In the early 20th  Century, Surveying was often equated with Civil Engineering because of the very high dependence Civil Engineers have on Surveyors. In fact, the two disciplines were often practiced by the same persons. Land Surveying has emerged as a distinctive career in recent years due to the growing need for specialization.

N LAND SURVEYING?

It is estimated that over 100,000 persons in the United States make their careers in surveying and related fields. Because this is an information career, the demand for trained experts in the field has been steadily growing. Few persons (now possibly you) know about the opportunities in this field, but those who pursue it are highly sought after. Entry level employees often earn $25,000 to $30,000 a year, while experienced persons earn $50,000 to $60,000 or more. Some surveyors work almost completely outdoors making measurements (“field work”) while others are mostly indoors interpreting and presenting the data (“office work”). And some workers balance some indoor with some outdoor work. Surveying projects are needed almost everywhere—from the mountains to the central business district.

DO I NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL?  IF SO, WHERE?

Yes — the technical skills and knowledge required for any aspect of surveying make it very difficult to work without specialized training. One year, two years, or four years or more of full-time College level work are recommended depending on your aptitudes and career goals. To become trained you may seek a school with a program in Surveying, Geomatics or Engineering with a Survey specialization. The premier Surveying Engineering program in the Puget Sound area is at RENTON TECHNICAL COLLEGE in Renton, Washington offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in Land Surveying (to reach the instructors, call 425- 235-2338). Students taking this program have an opportunity to continue work at a four- year school to pursue a Bachelors degree. You may call the Land Surveyors’ Association of Washington or a practicing Land Surveyor to find other educational opportunities.

 

DO I NEED A LICENSE IN THIS FIELD?

You will not need a license if you work for or with a surveyor who is licensed. Many who enter this field will choose, after a minimum of eight years of experience, to take the licensing exam and become Professional Land Surveyors. This license is administered by the State Board of Registration for Engineers and Land Surveyors.

 

WHO HIRES TECHNICIANS IN THIS FIELD?

  • Land Surveying consulting firms
  • Engineering and Land Planning consulting firms
  • City and County government surveying departments
  • State, Federal, and military agencies
  • Construction Companies
  • Union Hall employment (construction surveying)
  • Self-employment if licensed DO I NEED TO GO TO

 

WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED TO MAKE IT IN SCHOOL OR ON THE JOB?

The short answer is that desire and some hard work are all that are required. But an aptitude for trigonometry and algebra can be important, as these are used daily. An interest in maps also indicates a person who may be suited for surveying. Those who desire to work outdoors can usually find plenty of such work in this field. Computer skills, especially computer- aided drafting (CAD), will also help a person hoping to enter surveying.  Some of the skills you will gain if you study surveying also relate to the following fields (to name a few):

 

Engineering

 

Real Estate

Environmental careers

Law

Astronomy

Sciences

 

Construction

Information Systems

Forestry

Navigation