A Career in Land Surveying

Why Choose a Land Surveying Career? 

Land surveying is a profession that combines art and science, with a bit of detective work thrown in. As a career, it offers tremendous variety, the chance to work outdoors, the opportunity to apply math and geography skills in the real world, and the satisfaction of contributing something of lasting value and importance.

What is Land Surveying?

Technically speaking, land surveying helps property owners to understand land boundaries and might also include the topography of the parcel, and the location of buildings and other improvements made to the parcel.

For those who are not interested in being tied to a desk all day, land surveying is a career option worth exploring. It allows you to do something different every day, utilize new technologies to solve age-old problems, and provide real-life solutions to landowners who may be having issues with their property. 

What Are the Benefits of a Career in Land Surveying?

Professional land surveyors are trained to use an intricate combination of law, math, engineering, and science to work out and establish property boundaries. They use specialized equipment like GPSs, prisms, software, radios and robotic total stations to complete the survey. 

While there are a variety of surveying careers to pursue, they all bring with them similar benefits:

  • Land surveyors are in high demand
    • As a land surveyor, you are able to work in the private sector or apply for positions in government organizations.
  • Land surveyors are instrumental to the community
    • By overseeing the development of schools, housing and highways, land surveyors are an important part of the community. Many industries could not function without the use of a surveyor’s expertise.
  • Land surveyors get to work with cutting edge technology
    • Continuing education is essential to land surveying, and is the perfect career choice for those who like to stay on top of industry trends.
  • Land surveyors have flexible work options
    • Depending on the position you choose as a licensed land surveyor, there are opportunities to work outdoors in the field, in an office environment, or a combination of both. 

What Education is Required for a Career in Land Surveying?

Many land surveyors choose to earn a degree in land surveying, mapping sciences, surveying technology, or a similar degree. When pursuing this degree, students spend most of their time outside the classroom learning principles of drawing, mapping, measuring, and collecting and analyzing data.

While an associates or bachelor’s degree is not required to work in the land surveying industry, it is generally required to obtain licensure. There are however, other roles such as field or drafting technician, that do not require a degree but rather on the job experience and training.

What Are the Licensure Requirements for a Career in Land Surveying? 

Regardless of whether you obtain an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, those interested in a career as a land surveyor will need to take the Fundamentals of Surveying exam to be eligible to get licensed to work as a surveyor in your state. In Ohio, only those professional land surveyors licensed by the State of Ohio Engineers and Surveyors Board are authorized to perform land surveys.

Once you become a certified land surveyor, you will need to complete a certain number of hours of land surveyor continuing education periodically in order to renew your license. In Ohio, licensed land surveyors must complete 30 hours of continuing education during the two-year renewal period. The continuing education hours must be relevant practice of engineering or surveying and must include technical, ethical or managerial material.

The Future of Land Surveying 

Surveyors continue to play a key role in developing new high-tech, sustainable cities, tackling climate change and solving global issues like urbanisation, migration and resource scarcity. 

Surveyors will continue to be needed to certify boundary lines, work on resource extraction projects, and review sites for construction. The exciting advancements in technologies is expected to increase worker productivity. Land surveying is one of the world’s oldest professions and has proven to be in high demand historically and is likely to be for the foreseeable future.  

At McSteen, our team of survey professionals is our greatest asset and we are always looking to build on it. Over the years we’ve put together an incredible team, most of whom have been with us for the duration of their career. We spend a lot of time at work – might as well enjoy it!

With 50 years experience in surveying in all 88 counties of Ohio, McSteen Land Surveyors is a leader in the industry. Contact us or order a survey and let our team of survey professionals take on your surveying needs.

Interested in a Career at McSteen?

View Open Positions Learn More