Summary Report for:
17-1022.00 - Surveyors
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.
Sample of reported job titles: County Surveyor, Engineer, Engineering Technician, Geodesist, Land Surveyor, Licensed Land Surveyor, Mine Surveyor, Professional Land Surveyor, Survey Party Chief, Surveyor
Also see: Geodetic Surveyors
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Verify the accuracy of survey data, including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.
- Search legal records, survey records, and land titles to obtain information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.
- Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain.
- Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.
- Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.
- 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.
- Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.
- Determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas, using theodolites, transits, levels, and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).
- Record the results of surveys including the shape, contour, location, elevation, and dimensions of land or land features.
- Coordinate findings with the work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with projects.
- Establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments.
- Train assistants and helpers, and direct their work in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.
- Adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.
- Plan and conduct ground surveys designed to establish baselines, elevations, and other geodetic measurements.
- Analyze survey objectives and specifications to prepare survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation.
- Develop criteria for survey methods and procedures.
- Survey bodies of water to determine navigable channels and to secure data for construction of breakwaters, piers, and other marine structures.
- 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.
- 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
Tools used in this occupation:
- Distance meters — Telescopic viewers
- Electromagnetic geophysical instruments — Magnetic locators
- Extension pole — Prism poles
- Geological compasses — Pocket transits
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers; Integrated global positioning systems GPS
- Height gauges — Abney levels; Altimeters
- Instrument tripods — Elevator tripods; Robotic tripods; Tripods
- Interferometers — Tracking lasers
- Laser measuring systems — Automatic slope lasers; Handheld measuring lasers; Line lasers
- Lasers — Dot lasers; Invisible beam lasers; Rotary lasers; Visible beam lasers
- Level sensors or transmitters — Transit levels
- Levels — Automatic levels; Electronic digital levels; Hand levels
- Map measurers — Curvimeters; Planimeters
- Measuring rods — Digital measuring poles; Rod levels; San Francisco rods; Surveyors leveling rods (see all 6 examples)
- Measuring tapes — Depth gauge tapes
- Measuring wheels for distance — Road measuring wheels
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Optical calibration sets — Tribrachs
- Personal computers — Pocket personal computers PC
- Plumb bobs — Laser plumb bobs
- Prisms — Double right-angle prisms; Right-angle prisms
- Rangefinders — Digital laser rangefinders
- Scanners — Laser scanners
- Sonars — Side scan sonars
- Sonometers — Single-beam echo sounders; Single-beam transducers
- Tape measures — Gammon reels; Measuring tapes
- Theodolites — Electronic digital theodolites; Long range reflectorless total stations; Prismless total stations; Total stations (see all 7 examples)
- Two way radios
- Video attachments for microscopes — Stereoscopes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — Geocomp Systems GeoNav; MicroSurvey FieldGenius; Sokkia Spectrum Survey Suite; Survey software (see all 11 examples)
- Application server software — CloudWorks
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Autodesk AutoCAD Land Desktop; Bentley MicroStation ; CMT Incorporated CogoCAD (see all 9 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data logging software
- Data conversion software — Cyclone
- Document management software — Data transfer software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Bentley GeoPak Bridge
- Information retrieval or search software — Topographic database software
- Internet browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcView; PC-Mapper software; Sokkia Imap (see all 10 examples)
- Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
- Office suite software — Latitude software; Microsoft Office
- Project management software — Crones & Associations Project Tracker Pro; Project analysis and costing software; Project data integration software
- Route navigation software — NOAA Shoreline Data Explorer
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Time accounting software — Sharetech Tabs Plus
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- 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.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Verify mathematical calculations.
- Calculate geographic positions from survey data.
- Gather physical survey data.
- Create maps.
- Direct surveying activities.
- Document technical design details.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Coordinate activities with suppliers, contractors, clients, or other departments.
- Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
- Calibrate scientific or technical equipment.
- Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
- Determine operational criteria or specifications.
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 97% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 42% responded “Very important results.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 61% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 56% responded “High responsibility.”
- Contact With Others — 45% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 47% responded “High responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 33% responded “More than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Very serious.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 42% responded “About half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Physical Proximity — 30% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||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.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: RCI
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$27.89 hourly, $58,020 annual|
|Employment (2014)||44,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||13,700|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "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.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Surveyors . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS) , 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704. Phone: (240) 439-4615. Fax: (240) 439-4952.
- American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) , 5410 Grosvenor Ln., Suite 210, Bethesda, MD 20814-2160. Phone: (301) 493-0290.
- National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) , 5119 Pegasus Court, Suite Q, Frederick, MD 21704. Phone: (240) 439-4615. Fax: (240) 439-4952.