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Job Description of a Chainman

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Chainmen work with architects, construction professionals and land surveyors, ensuring that site topographic conditions are adequate for construction projects. They also ensure that location specifications adhere to government laws and regulations.

Job Specifications

A chainman works under the guidance of a surveying manager, preparing survey drawings, assisting in boundary calculations and helping draft legal descriptions.

Tools and Technology

The career information website O-Net Online indicates that a chaiman uses distance meters, laser measuring systems, echosounders and scientific software when performing tasks.

Work Activities

A chainman interacts with computers, processes and analyzes data, performs general physical activities and identifies objects, actions and events.


Associate degrees or high school diplomas are necessary for chainman positions, but employers prefer applicants with significant practical experience in land boundary, topographic surveying and oil/gas well permitting.

Skill Set

A chainman must have finger dexterity, visual aptitude and good communication skills--oral, written and graphic--when performing tasks.


In 2010, chainmen earned median yearly wages of $39,000, according to the job data website Indeed.