SOC: 17-1022.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
44,300 employed

Projected (2024):
43,400 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • City Surveyor
  • County Surveyor
  • Engineer
  • Engineering Technician
  • Geodesist
  • Geodetic Surveyor
  • Geophysical Prospecting Surveyor
  • Land Examiner
  • Land Measurer
  • Land Surveyor
  • Land Surveyor Manager
  • Licensed Land Surveyor
  • Licensed Surveyor
  • Mine Surveyor
  • Mineral Surveyor
  • Photogrammetric Engineer
  • Photogrammetry Flight Operations Director
  • Port Surveyor
  • Professional Land Surveyor
  • Professional Surveyor
  • Project Surveyor
  • Railroad Surveyor
  • Registered (Public) Surveyor
  • Registered Land Surveyor
  • Registered Public Surveyor
  • Site Surveyor
  • Survey Coordinator
  • Survey Engineer
  • Survey Manager
  • Survey Party Chief
  • Survey Project Manager
  • Survey Superintendent
  • Surveyor
  • Topographical Surveyor

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.
  • Verify the accuracy of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.
  • Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.
  • Record the results of surveys including the shape, contour, location, elevation, and dimensions of land or land features.
  • Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain.
  • Prepare or supervise preparation of all data, charts, plots, maps, records, and documents related to surveys.
  • Write descriptions of property boundary surveys for use in deeds, leases, or other legal documents.
  • Plan and conduct ground surveys designed to establish baselines, elevations, and other geodetic measurements.
  • Search legal records, survey records, and land titles to obtain information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.
  • Coordinate findings with the work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with projects.
  • Adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.
  • Establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments.
  • Determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas using theodolites, transits, levels, and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Train assistants and helpers, and direct their work in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.
  • Analyze survey objectives and specifications to prepare survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation.
  • Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.
  • Develop criteria for survey methods and procedures.
  • Develop criteria for the design and modification of survey instruments.
  • Conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing.
  • Locate and mark sites selected for geophysical prospecting activities such as efforts to locate petroleum or other mineral products.
  • Survey bodies of water to determine navigable channels and to secure data for construction of breakwaters, piers, and other marine structures.
  • Direct aerial surveys of specified geographical areas.
  • Determine specifications for photographic equipment to be used for aerial photography, as well as altitudes from which to photograph terrain.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Abney levels
  • Altimeters
  • Automatic levels
  • Automatic slope lasers
  • Barometers
  • Clinometers
  • Curvimeters
  • Depth gauge tapes
  • Digital laser rangefinders
  • Digital measuring poles
  • Direct elevation rods
  • Distance meters
  • Dot lasers
  • Double right-angle prisms
  • Electronic digital levels
  • Electronic digital theodolites
  • Elevator tripods
  • Gammon reels
  • Geological compasses
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hand levels
  • Handheld measuring lasers
  • Integrated global positioning systems GPS
  • Invisible beam lasers
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser plumb bobs
  • Laser scanners
  • Line lasers
  • Long range reflectorless total stations
  • Machetes
  • Magnetic locators
  • Measuring rods
  • Measuring tapes
  • Mechanical theodolites
  • Philadelphia rods
  • Planimeters
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pocket personal computers PC
  • Pocket transits
  • Prism poles
  • Prismless total stations
  • Reflectorless total stations
  • Right-angle prisms
  • Road measuring wheels
  • Robotic total stations
  • Robotic tripods
  • Rod levels
  • Rotary lasers
  • San Francisco rods
  • Side scan sonars
  • Single-beam echo sounders
  • Single-beam transducers
  • Stereoscopes
  • Surveyors leveling rods
  • Telescopic viewers
  • Total stations
  • Tracking lasers
  • Transit levels
  • Tribrachs
  • Tripods
  • Two way radios
  • Visible beam lasers
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Land Desktop
  • Bentley GeoPak Bridge
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • Cadcorp desktop GIS
  • Carlson SurvCADD
  • Carlson SurvCE
  • Carlson Survey
  • CE Surveyor III software
  • CloudWorks
  • CMT Incorporated CogoCAD
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Crones & Associations Project Tracker Pro
  • Cyclone
  • Data logging software
  • Data transfer software
  • Drafting software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Geocomp Systems GeoNav
  • Geodetic software
  • Geomechanical design analysis GDA software
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Internet browser software
  • Latitude software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • MicroSurvey FieldGenius
  • MicroSurvey software
  • 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
  • Trimble Terramodel

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980