STEM Careers Coalition: Surveyor
Surveyors are highly-skilled, detail-oriented professionals who spend a majority of their time outside, marking and precisely measuring property lines.
Harnessing tools like GPS, sophisticated computer technology, drones, and robots, Surveyors provide data about the shape and size of an area.
Surveyors are precision-minded professionals who conduct research and use
measurement tools to exactly locate key features of areas of land and water
on the Earth’s surface. They are able to utilize sophisticated instruments
to conduct precise measurements and collect data about places. These
innovations include Global Positioning Systems (GPS), which identify the
precise location of reference points, and Geographic Information Systems
(GIS), which facilitate visual presentation of spatial information. Surveyors are
able to synthesize information they collect to generate maps and reports that
might be used to create legal property documents, such as deeds and leases,
as well as identify features that might affect construction or mining projects.
They have the physical stamina to walk long distances and work long hours
outdoors regardless of climate conditions.
Surveyors make careful and precise measurements of the Earth’s surface to
determine property boundaries and collect data used for construction projects,
mapmaking, and engineering tasks, such as mining and laying pipelines. While
most of their work is completed in the field and requires travel, surveyors also
conduct background research and analyze land and survey records and land
titles to identify current and previous boundary lines. Once on site, surveyors
use reference points to pinpoint the precise locations of important features,
such as drilling and well locations. They measure distances and angles between
locations on, above, and below the surface of the Earth, record survey results,
and ensure the accuracy of their work. After they make measurements and
compile information, surveyors create maps, reports, and plots to present their
findings to their clients and government agencies. Agencies will use this work
to establish official property boundaries for legal documents, such as deeds
and leases. Surveyors also may be called upon to provide expert testimony
in court to settle disputes over boundaries and usage rights. Surveyors fulfill
a variety of needs in different industries, including defining legal property
lines, determining location-related restrictions and parameters for building
structures, determining characteristics of bodies of water and shorelines, and
mapping mines and pipeline routes.
Most surveyors will need a bachelor’s degree, with coursework that includes
training on how to use sophisticated tools like GPS and GIS, as well as math
applications for making measurements and compiling data. Some institutions
of higher learning offer programs that prepare students to become
licensed surveyors. Most states require surveyors to complete four-year
apprenticeship programs working with licensed and experienced surveyors.
To find success in this career, individuals will need to be detail-oriented, have
strong communications skills, physical stamina, time-management skills, and
be able to visualize changes to the locations they study. Math skills will be
very important.
Video Length  1:43

Engineering Topics
Engineer (Civil)
Middle School, High School
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

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