Solving complex issues, having good math skills and some knowledge of IT are some of the skills necessary for those considering a career as a land surveyor. What does a land surveyor do? They measure and map the shape of land using traditional instruments and cutting edge, digital technology.

Most of the information they gather then goes to civil engineers and construction companies for their projects. These can include:

  • Developments
  • Subdivisions
  • Building
  • Tunnelling

A critical but sometimes overlooked part of the building process, the surveyor is the key link between design and constructions. Land surveyors are needed for many reasons related to design, safety and architecture – their work is extremely precise and there cannot be mistakes. They assess the areas around a site and determine if it is safe for development and what any hurdles will be if the project continues. This requires the use of specialised technology and equipment.

Land surveyor work environment and working conditions

Land surveyors work both on-site in the elements and in an office. While on the project site, the surveyor will need to perform a wide range of mathematical measurements to get the necessary information to provide a detailed report and map of the land, including discussions and information about the distances, slopes, heights, and features pertinent to the builders and architects.

Why is surveying land important?

Land surveyors are one of the most critical players in the land development process. Without their work, builders and architects wouldn’t have the necessary information to make buildings and structures that are supported and safe.

Some of the other players that they work with include architects, geologists, builders, and engineers to complete projects. Land surveyors play an integral part by determining where to build and what infrastructure is required.

Skill set for land surveyors

Land surveyors need to have the following skills:

  • An understanding of surveying technology and design programs
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) talents
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity
  • Deep knowledge of health and safety standards
  • Knowledge of environmental regulations
  • The ability to prioritize and plan effectively for projects of all sizes and scopes
  • The ability to work accurately
  • Ability to work on a team of people

Different types of land surveyors and their jobs

Just like in many fields, there are different kinds of land surveyors who do similar but slightly different jobs.

Residential Sector

Within the residential sector, land surveyors help in the building of houses, subdivision of properties, in strata surveys, and in establishing (and re-establishing) boundaries in neighbourhoods. They will assess the land to ensure that buildings have been designed to fit into the space and that the boundaries are correct. Often, they will have to ensure that all local council guidelines and regulations were met.

Some examples include:

  • Helping with the extension or addition of a home;
  • Determining the boundaries when a homeowner wants to install a fence;
  • Settling boundary disputes among neighbours.

Commercial Sector

There are many commercial land surveyor projects however these are the most common. In the commercial sector, they are involved in the early stages of development, including:

  • Road work
  • Tunnelling
  • Mining projects
  • High rise construction
  • Large strata projects
  • Shopping centres

They hold a special role in the projects they work on – often the first professionals to visit the project site and determine much of the work that needs to happen to carry out the design.

Surveying for construction, engineering & development

Land surveyors are needed when any type of structure is built, improved, or upgraded – whether it is a home, road, bridge, pipelines, or shopping centre. Surveyors can also double-check design plans and create survey plans that easily list out information for everyone on a project to use – often they will be the first to spot a potential problem.

Having accurate data at the start of any project is vital and provides for the safety and security of the construction team. It reduces time lost and allows for projects to stay on track from the start. Whether they are working with other professionals or alone, the data provided by land surveyors is invaluable and allows for construction teams to plan before they arrive at a site, making the entire process more efficient.