Geodesist: what they do, how to become one, and where to study
Surveyors are professionals who measure and map land, airspace, and water features using specialized equipment and techniques. They work in various settings, including construction sites, mines, and government agencies. Their work is critical to many industries, including real estate, transportation, and engineering. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.
Surveyors use a variety of tools and technologies to measure and map the earth's surface. These tools include electronic distance measuring devices, GPS receivers, and aerial photography equipment. They also use computer software to analyze data and create maps and other visual representations of the land.
There are several specializations within the surveyor profession, including geodetic surveying, land surveying, hydrographic surveying, and photogrammetry. Each specialization requires different skills and knowledge, and each has its own set of tools and techniques.
Geodetic surveying involves measuring large areas of the earth's surface to determine the precise location of points on the surface. This is used to create accurate maps and to determine the exact positions of natural features such as mountains and rivers.
Land surveying involves measuring and mapping the boundaries of a piece of land. This is typically done for real estate transactions, construction projects, and land development.
Hydrographic surveying involves measuring and mapping the underwater features of bodies of water. This is important for marine navigation and resource management.
Photogrammetry involves using aerial photography to create 3D models of the earth's surface. This is used in a variety of applications, including engineering, land management, and environmental studies.
Tasks and responsibilities
The tasks and responsibilities of a surveyor vary depending on their specialization and the industry they work in. Some common tasks and responsibilities include:
- Measuring and mapping the land, airspace, or water features
- Collecting data using specialized equipment and techniques
- Analyzing data and creating maps and other visual representations
- Ensuring that maps and data are accurate and up-to-date
- Providing advice and recommendations to clients or stakeholders
- Managing surveying projects and teams
Pros and Cons
Like any profession, surveying has its pros and cons. Here are a few to consider:
- High demand for skilled surveyors
- Opportunity for professional growth and development
- Opportunity to work in a variety of industries and settings
- Good pay and benefits
- Ability to work outdoors and travel to different locations
- Can be physically demanding, with long hours spent on job sites
- Requires attention to detail and accuracy
- Can be mentally challenging, requiring problem-solving skills and the ability to analyze complex data
- Can be hazardous, with potential exposure to dangerous environments and equipment
- Can be affected by economic downturns and fluctuations in the real estate and construction industries
Surveyors are in high demand in many countries, including the USA, Canada, GB, and Australia. The demand for surveyors is driven by several factors, including population growth, urbanization, and infrastructure development.
In the USA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of surveyors will grow 2% from 2020 to 2030, adding approximately 1,300 new jobs. In Canada, the job outlook for surveyors is considered "good," with a steady demand for their services. In GB, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts that demand for surveyors will remain steady in the coming years. In Australia, the Department of Employment predicts that the demand for surveyors will be strong over the next few years, with a shortage of skilled workers in some areas.
The salary range for surveyors varies depending on their experience, education, and industry. Here are some approximate salary ranges for surveyors in the USA, Canada, GB, and Australia:
- Entry-level salary: $41,400 - $53,000
- Mid-career salary: $58,600 - $74,900
- Experienced salary: $78,400 - $100,000+
- Entry-level salary: CAD $45,000 - $60,000
- Mid-career salary: CAD $70,000 - $85,000
- Experienced salary: CAD $90,000 - $120,000+
- Entry-level salary: £24,000 - £30,000
- Mid-career salary: £30,000 - £40,000
- Experienced salary: £40,000 - £60,000+
- Entry-level salary: AUD $50,000 - $65,000
- Mid-career salary: AUD $70,000 - $90,000
- Experienced salary: AUD $90,000 - $130,000+
It's worth noting that salaries can vary depending on the specific industry and location within each country.
Where do Surveyors work?
Surveyors work in a variety of settings, including construction sites, mines, and government agencies. They may also work in consulting firms or as independent contractors. Their work is critical to many industries, including real estate, transportation, and engineering.
Surveyors are needed to measure and map the land for a variety of purposes, including designing and building roads, bridges, and buildings, creating maps for resource management, and establishing property boundaries. They also play a crucial role in disaster response and recovery efforts.
Important qualities of a successful Surveyor
To be a successful surveyor, certain qualities are necessary. These include:
- Attention to detail and accuracy
- Strong analytical skills and the ability to solve problems
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
- Physical stamina and the ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions
- Familiarity with specialized equipment and technology
- A commitment to safety and adherence to regulations and standards
It's important to note that surveying is not for everyone. The physical demands, attention to detail, and technical skills required may not be suitable for everyone.
Step-by-step career path
Here is a step-by-step career path for surveyors:
- Complete a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Earn an associate degree or bachelor's degree in surveying or a related field.
- Gain experience working in surveying or a related field.
- Obtain a professional license or certification, if required in your state or country.
- Continue to gain experience and pursue professional development opportunities.
- Consider specializing in a specific area of surveying, such as geodetic surveying or hydrographic surveying.
- Pursue opportunities for leadership and management roles.
How to become a Surveyor
To become a surveyor, you typically need a bachelor's degree in surveying or a related field, such as civil engineering or geography. In the USA, licensure is required in most states, and the requirements for licensure vary by state. In some states, licensure requires passing an exam, while in others, it requires a combination of education, experience, and exam.
In the USA, it typically takes four years to earn a bachelor's degree in surveying. However, some schools offer two-year associate degrees in surveying or related fields, which may be sufficient for entry-level positions.
In Canada, surveyors are required to have a degree in surveying or geomatics, followed by a two-year articling period and completion of a professional exam. In GB, surveyors typically have a degree in surveying or a related field and must complete a two-year on-the-job training program to become chartered. In Australia, surveyors must have a degree in surveying or a related field and complete a two-year practical training program.
In addition to formal education and licensure, continuing education and professional development are important for surveyors. They must stay up-to-date with changes in technology and regulations, as well as advances in surveying techniques and practices.
Where to become a Surveyor
There are many universities and colleges around the world that offer programs in surveying and related fields. Here are five examples of schools in the USA, Canada, GB, and Australia:
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of California, Davis
- Michigan Technological University
- Texas A&M University
- University of Florida
- University of Calgary
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Algonquin College
- Mohawk College
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
- University College London
- University of Nottingham
- University of Salford
- University of Newcastle
- Kingston University London
- University of Melbourne
- Curtin University
- Queensland University of Technology
- Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
- University of New South Wales
Can you enter the profession with a different degree?
It is possible to enter the surveying profession with a degree in a related field, such as civil engineering, geology, or geography. However, additional coursework or training may be necessary to gain the specific skills and knowledge required for surveying.
Some employers may also consider candidates with experience in a related field or with technical skills that are relevant to surveying, such as experience with GIS software or programming languages. However, in order to obtain a professional license or certification, a degree or coursework specifically in surveying may be required.
In conclusion, surveying is a profession that plays a critical role in many industries, including real estate, transportation, and engineering. Surveyors use specialized equipment and techniques to measure and map the land, airspace, and water features. There are several specializations within the surveying profession, including geodetic surveying, land surveying, hydrographic surveying, and photogrammetry. The demand for surveyors is high in many countries, and salaries can vary depending on experience, education, and industry. To become a surveyor, a degree in surveying or a related field, as well as licensure or certification, is typically required. Continuing education and professional development are also important for surveyors to stay up-to-date with changes in technology and regulations.