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How to Become a Land Surveyor in Texas

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In Texas, the Board of Professional Land Surveying regulates the marking of land boundaries for business documents such as leases, deeds and legal documents that include land or property. The board follows guidelines established in the Professional Land Surveying Practices Act. Land surveyors in Texas must meet specific education requirements and pass knowledge examinations in order to perform the job. Individuals interested in entering this profession in Texas should complete college, certify as a surveyor-in-training and gain work experience sufficient for registration and licensing.

Review the state regulations for registration and licensing for land surveyors. Land surveyors in Texas must be licensed and registered through the Board of Professional Land Surveying. The board posts candidate guidelines on the state website that provide an overview of the academic and professional requirements for aspiring land surveyors.

Meet the minimum education requirements for land surveyors. Aspiring land surveyors in Texas must have a bachelor's degree. Students are not required to complete a degree in any specific study, but they must show proof of at least 32 hours of survey related coursework covering subjects that include civil engineering, math and the physical sciences in the areas of geology and physics. To locate schools in Texas offering degree programs or coursework in surveying curriculum, visit the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors career website.

Seek employment working under the direction of a state licensed land surveyor or surveyor business. You will not be licensed upon graduation, but you must demonstrate land surveying work experience along with the submission of three professional land surveyor references who will attest to your skills and potential. Meeting these requirements qualify you to apply for a training license. Work with the career planning representative at the school where you completed your survey education to find jobs in surveying as a crew member, draftsman or any support role overseen by a licensed land surveyor.

Apply for a surveyor-in-training certificate. Candidates who meet the education requirements and possess three professional references that verify supervised work experience in a support role can apply to the board for permission to take the fundamentals part of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying examination. Fundamental sections of the exam permitted by the board for candidates in training will be designated or approved by the board prior to administering. Complete the application materials, and include a passport sized photo for identification.

Apply to take the Land Surveyor examination through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). When the Board of Professional Land Surveying has approved your surveyor-in-training application, you can apply for the examination. You can use the authorization provided by the board to take the The Fundamentals of Land Surveying portion of the complete surveyor examination administered by the NCEES. The exam is offered twice a year, in April and October and will take about eight hours to complete. Apply for the exam, review exam policies and instructions on the NCEES website.

Gain four years of land surveyor experience using your surveyor-in-training certification. When your passing test results have been received by the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying, you will be issued certification to begin work as a land surveyor under the supervision of a licensed land surveyor. Find employment through classified sections of your local journal like the Austin American Statesman or the Houston Chronicle, search major career websites like, check industry job websites like and contact your alumni school career planning office for assistance.

Apply and test to register as a licensed land surveyor. When you have completed four years of supervised work as a land surveyor, you can apply to take the Analytical, Legal and Reciprocal Exams (Professional Surveying Exam). Follow the same process you completed for your training certification. Apply for authorization to test through the board, then apply for a test date to take the remaining professional portions of the land surveying exam (PS Exam) through NCEES. This exam is also offered in April and October.


CL Hardy is a communication professional based in Austin, Texas. In addition to writing corporate newsletters, proposals and technical white papers for Fortune 500 clients for more than 12 years, Hardy has been published in "Black Collegian" magazine; her articles on human resources, business and art topics can be found on eHow. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in communication.

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