Real Estate & Property

Surveyor

Surveyors measure and collect data about land boundaries, and about the size, shape, position and contour of natural and man-made features.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Surveyor do?

Surveyors measure and collect data about land boundaries, and about the size, shape, position and contour of natural and man-made features.

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Work activities

As a surveyor, you would:

  • carry out initial surveys and environmental impact assessments on potential sites to assess whether construction plans are workable
  • calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain
  • use surveying instruments and GPS to chart exact coordinates of site features
  • verify the accuracy of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites
  • search land records, survey records, and land titles
  • direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles
  • prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed
  • prepare plots, maps, and reports related to surveys
  • use geographic information systems (GIS) to analyse and interpret site features
  • use computer aided design (CAD) software to create maps and charts.

Surveyors work on varied projects including road, tunnel and bridge building projects, building construction and land redevelopment, or on the installation of infrastructure such as power and water supply networks.

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Key skills and interests

To become a surveyor, you would need:

  • to be good at engineering, science and maths
  • an interest in technology and geology
  • a high level of attention to detail
  • able to analyse and interpret geographical data
  • good physical fitness
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most surveyors work full time. Hours may be irregular depending on whether you are undertaking field or office work.

Conditions

Surveying involves both field work and indoor work. When working outside, you would need to stand for long periods and often walk long distances, sometimes in bad weather.

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How to become an Surveyor?

Entry Level Education

To become a surveyor you usually have to complete a degree in surveying, spatial science, geospatial science or geographical information systems at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

All surveyors need to be registered. Depending on the state in which you live, registration requires completion of a relevant degree, and some combination of practical experience and demonstration of competence through technical projects or further study.

Registration as a surveyor in any Australian state or territory, or in New Zealand, allows for registration anywhere else in these zones through an application process, involving payment of the appropriate fees and meeting minimum statutory requirements.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of surveyors is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth will result mainly from increased residential, commercial, and civil / infrastructure construction.

Additionally, an increasing number of companies are interested in geographic information and its applications. For example, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to create maps and information for emergency planning, security, urban planning, natural resource exploration, construction, and other applications.

Job opportunities are expected to be excellent for those with strong GIS skills.

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