A week set aside each year to educate the public about the value of land surveying, National Surveyor’s Week was originally proclaimed by then-President Ronald Reagan on February 13, 1984.
Always celebrated during the third week of March, this year National Surveyor’s Week will be recognized March 20th through 26th, while March 21st is set aside as Global Surveyor’s Day. The work surveyors perform for the benefit of the public often goes unrecognized and National Surveyor’s Week is a time when surveyors are encouraged to share their knowledge and raise awareness of the profession.
History of Land Surveying
Surveying has been a part of the advancement of civilization since the beginning of recorded history, as it is necessary to plan and build most earth-bound projects. The first examples in the history of land surveying date back to the ancient Egyptians during the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza in 2700 BC.
Throughout our country’s history, surveyors have been credited with developing economic plans that effectively use resources and land to help the country prosper. In fact, some of the nation’s founding fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were land surveyors during colonial times.
A Changing Profession
While the basics of surveying have stayed the same, the tools of surveying today are much more technical than they once were. Drones and lasers have replaced much of the telescope-on-a-tripod work. Remote sensing and satellite imagery continue to improve and become cheaper, allowing more commonplace use, and there is increasing use of three-dimensional (3D) scanning.
State of the Industry
There currently are more than 43,000 land surveyors in the United States, who are skilled or familiar with a variety of fields, including geometry, trigonometry, regression analysis, physics, engineering, meteorology, programming languages, and the law. However, the annual number of retiring surveyors far exceeds the number of surveyors entering the profession, so it is more important than ever to encourage younger generations to take an interest in and pursue a career in land surveying.
Land Surveying as a Profession
At McSteen, we are working to understand some of the barriers to entry for the profession of land surveying and what may be causing a shortage in the profession. More importantly, we are proactively working within the industry to reverse this trend and attract talent to the surveying profession. You can learn more about our efforts, what is required to become a surveyor, and what the profession entails in some of our recent articles on our blog:
- A Day in the Life of a Land Surveyor – 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.
- Why is There a Shortage of Land Surveyors? … and What Can We Do About It? – Surveying is here to stay, but the profession must adapt to remain relevant and to grow.
- You Want a Career in Land Surveying – What Now? – Land surveying is crucial to responsible land development and there will always be a need for it.
- A Career in Land Surveying – 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.
As a family-owned business with more than 50 years of experience in land surveying throughout the state of Ohio, at McSteen Land Surveyors we are proud to be leaders in an industry so important to the growth of our communities.