Architecture & Construction > Design/Pre-Construction

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. Provide data relevant to the shape, contour, gravitation, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, mining, land evaluation, construction, and other purposes.

Common job titles of Surveyors include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 41.94% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 32.26% said they needed a Associate's Degree.


    Train assistants and helpers, and direct their work in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.

    Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain.

    Search legal records, survey records, and land titles to obtain information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.

    Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.

    Prepare or supervise preparation of all data, charts, plots, maps, records, and documents related to surveys.

    Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.

    Verify the accuracy of survey data, including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.

    Determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas, using theodolites, transits, levels, and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).

    Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.

    Record the results of surveys including the shape, contour, location, elevation, and dimensions of land or land features.

    Analyze survey objectives and specifications to prepare survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation.

    Establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments.

    Coordinate findings with the work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with projects.

    Write descriptions of property boundary surveys for use in deeds, leases, or other legal documents.

    Adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.

    Plan and conduct ground surveys designed to establish baselines, elevations, and other geodetic measurements.

    Direct aerial surveys of specified geographical areas.

    Conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing.

    Develop criteria for survey methods and procedures.

    Testify as an expert witness in court cases on land survey issues, such as property boundaries.

    Determine specifications for photographic equipment to be used for aerial photography, as well as altitudes from which to photograph terrain.

    Survey bodies of water to determine navigable channels and to secure data for construction of breakwaters, piers, and other marine structures.

    Locate and mark sites selected for geophysical prospecting activities such as efforts to locate petroleum or other mineral products.

    Develop criteria for the design and modification of survey instruments.


Visible beam lasers

Two way radios



Transit levels

Tracking lasers

Total stations

All Tools

Telescopic viewers

Surveyors leveling rods


Single-beam transducers

Single-beam echo sounders

Side scan sonars

San Francisco rods

Rotary lasers

Rod levels

Robotic tripods

Robotic total stations

Road measuring wheels

Right-angle prisms

Reflectorless total stations

Prismless total stations

Prism poles

Pocket transits

Pocket personal computers PC

Plumb bobs


Philadelphia rods

Mechanical theodolites

Measuring tapes

Measuring rods

Magnetic locators


Long range reflectorless total stations

Line lasers

Laser scanners

Laser plumb bobs

Laptop computers

Invisible beam lasers

Integrated global positioning systems GPS

Handheld measuring lasers

Hand levels

Global positioning system GPS receivers

Geological compasses

Gammon reels

Elevator tripods

Electronic digital theodolites

Electronic digital levels

Double right-angle prisms

Dot lasers

Distance meters

Direct elevation rods

Digital measuring poles

Digital laser rangefinders

Depth gauge tapes




Automatic slope lasers

Automatic levels


Abney levels


Autodesk AutoCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Autodesk AutoCAD Land Desktop

Bentley MicroStation

Carlson SurvCADD

CMT Incorporated CogoCAD

Computer aided design and drafting software CADD

All Technologies

ESRI ArcGIS software

Geographic information system GIS software

Microsoft Excel


Trimble Terramodel

Bentley GeoPak Bridge

Bentley Systems InRoads Suite

Cadcorp desktop GIS

Carlson SurvCE

Carlson Survey

CE Surveyor III


Crones & Associations Project Tracker Pro


Data transfer software

Drafting software

ESRI ArcView

Geocomp Systems GeoNav

Geodetic software

Geomechanical design analysis GDA software

Global positioning system GPS software



Internet browser software

Latitude software

MicroSurvey FieldGenius

NOAA Shoreline Data Explorer

PC-Mapper software

Project analysis and costing software

Project data integration software

Sharetech Tabs Plus

Sokkia G2

Sokkia Imap

Sokkia Spectrum Survey Suite

Spreadsheet software

Surface modeling software

Survey software

Topographic database software

Trimble HydroPro



Using mathematics to solve problems.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Teaching others how to do something.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

See details at a distance.

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Far Vision

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