What does a land surveyor do?  

A career in land surveying offers tremendous day-to-day variety, the ability 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. Land surveying is crucial to responsible land development and there will always be a need for it. 

What is a land survey?  

A land survey allows property owners to understand its boundaries by establishing or reestablishing corners, lines, boundaries, and monuments of real property based on recorded documents, historical evidence, and present standards of practice.  A land survey also might include the topography of the parcel and the location of buildings and other improvements made to the property. 

There are different types of land surveys and as a property owner, you can have your property surveyed at any time. The type of land survey you need will depend on what type of information you need about your property.   

  • Boundary Survey Boundary Surveys are highly accurate calculations of your property lines that can be relied on for property construction and other property improvements on both residential and commercial properties. 
  • Mortgage Location – A Mortgage Location is different from a boundary survey and is not used for construction or for boundary determinations, but rather to confirm that what is described in the property’s deed is what is transferring in real life as part of a real estate transaction. This product is solely for the use of lenders and title insurers. 
  • Topographic SurveyTopographic Surveys include field measurement and preparation of a plat to establish land elevations. These surveys are typically contracted by a residential or commercial property owner before making improvements to the property such as, but not limited to, additions, landscaping, or parking lots. 
  • ALTA Survey – An ALTA Survey is essentially a boundary survey plus a detailed depiction of property improvements, easements, and anything else impacting the parcel. It is used for a variety of reasons, from securing title insurance at the closing of a deal to being used as a design document for engineering purposes.  

What does a land surveyor do?  

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

To complete a land survey, a surveyor performs research about the real property, which includes seeking out the history of the property and gathering information by going into the field and observing evidence about the property. Specific tasks involved in surveying depend on the type of land survey being conducted, which may include a mortgage location, boundary, ALTA, topographic, or other types of surveys. 

At McSteen, we have licensed surveyors in both our Boundary and Mortgage Location departments. They are the final voice and authority on our projects, utilizing their knowledge and experience to provide assurance to our clients that the product they receive has been performed with the utmost regard for quality.  

They review the data collected by the field crews, analyze the picture put together by our drafters, perform boundary calculations (for boundary surveys), and lastly review, sign and stamp our final survey. 

The Future of Land Surveying  

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.   

Our team is designed to bring peace of mind to every real estate transaction, construction project, and survey need from start to finish and our licensed surveyors play a critical role in this effort. At McSteen, our team of survey professionals is our greatest asset and we are always looking to build on it

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