How to Become a Surveyor

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How to Become a Surveyor. A surveyor's responsibilities include officially marking land boundaries for all construction projects and legal deeds or titles. This is a field where absolute accuracy is required 100 percent of the time.

Take courses in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, computer science, mechanical drawing and drafting in high school.

Check the and Princeton Review ( educational Web sites for colleges offering a bachelor's degree in surveying.

Graduate from a four-year college to gain the best career opportunities in the future. Having a shorter degree, or even no degree, is still acceptable in some states for entry-level work, but you then need up to 10 years of work experience to take mandatory licensure examinations. Many states are now requiring degrees as basic prerequisites to becoming licensed.

Ask your adviser about internships, especially during the summer months. Also contact local engineering or architectural firms about any such opportunities. You may be able to turn an internship into your first job after you complete your schooling.

Make certain you receive training in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which surveyors now use as a common tool in their work.

Take the required licensure examinations after you've completed two to four years on the job after college. Your state determines the exact amount of experience required.

Inquire about professional certification after you receive your license. It's optional but will make you stand out, especially during economic downturns.


Understand that you need good eyesight, good communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to visualize abstract forms. You'll also need to communicate clearly with architects, lawyers and contractors. Expect to advance in this field if you work hard, but realize that you'll need to have proven teamwork and leadership qualities. Many surveyors eventually head projects and have assistants working for them.


Be prepared for occasionally strenuous outdoor work if you become a surveyor. Expect to take continuing education classes in this career.

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