What does a land surveyor do? I didn’t know what a surveyor did until I spoke with a surveyor who recommended the field to me. A land surveyor basically measures points using the angles and distances between them. Land surveyors can work in the public sector or the private sector depending on what you would personally like to do as a career. In the public sector, it is a lot more competitive and has more opportunity for working your way up. In the public sector, you obtain additional training on the public land surveying system. The public land surveying system is mostly within a grid and is why the Western United States townships are on a grid system.
Land surveyors can come from an array of backgrounds. In Nevada for an example, you can become a surveyor tech at one of the mines right out of high school. Most states require that you have some sort of 2-year or even 4-year degree and 4-6 years experience before taking the State Board Exam to become a Professional Land Surveyor. With a degree in surveying, you open yourself up to a whole variety of fields.
You could go off into preparing maps using the software such as AutoCAD or ArcGIS. Both programs can help you land a job in the map making or in the construction industry planning stages. Surveyors also work outdoors a lot and need to know basic navigational skills, just in case they get lost out in the wilderness. Another career that surveyors could also do is work for the government maintaining parks and recreational areas within the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Forestry or even the local state government parks.
Surveyors are interested in the mathematical background, the coordinate systems, survival skills and new technologies that are revolutionizing the industry. Millennials, as they come into the workforce, would enjoy the industry as a whole, because it allows you to be outdoors half the time and in the office the other half of the time.
In the surveying field, we value accuracy of measurements, neatness of the notes we have to read in order to interpret the survey and of course legally as a surveyor your reputation is on the line. We have ethical values that bind us towards taking measurements and checking for errors multiple times.
Our field is an important one, we help establish or re-establish corners. Sometimes the corners become lost and we must go out to replace those. Place monuments that way future surveyors can find the point and record data/notes that can be used at a later time for analysis. It is important that we make accurate measurements so that in the future, a couple of landowners don’t end up in a bitter court battle over where their right of way on properties is.
In conclusion, the surveying profession is a growing industry that will always be needed. We will always need to have boundaries for our properties. Millennials should take advantage of the aging workforce, as the 55+ crowd retires they can massage their skills in the professional working environment and work their way up into a career that has endless possibilities.
Used in my class at GBC, feel free to use this as a resource. Please cite my blog though as plagerism sucks!
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– Colorful Asylum