Survey career
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Career Profile: Land Surveyor

Are you considering launching a career in land surveying? Wondering what this career has in store? Read on to learn about the job description, education, skills, expected salary and more to find out if this in-demand career is right for you.

Surveying career

Job Description

Land surveyors play an instrumental role in building projects to determine boundary lines and locations of land features and formations, both underground and underwater. They use tools such as GPS, measuring instruments, and digital mapping systems to collect and analyze data.

There are many career opportunities available to land surveyors, including: construction, mining exploration, civil and environmental engineering, real estate development, survey companies, geomatics firms, and government.

Education & Licensing

Aspiring land surveyors can take a few different paths to reach their career goals, but in general, surveyors need to develop an understanding of math, physics, cartography, earth sciences, and computer programming. Most land surveyors will complete a four-year bachelor degree in Geomatics Engineering, or a similar program.

Students can also enroll in a two-year college diploma program in order to work in entry-level surveying positions. However, these graduates will need to take additional examinations to become professional licensed land surveyors.

This link gives a list of Canadian universities and colleges with geomatics-related programs:

Licensing regulations vary from province to province, but in many cases you will need to be licensed by a governing body, as well as be a member of that association in order to work as a professional land surveyor. Be sure to research the regulations in your province.


As well as the skills you’ll gain in your post-secondary program, the following personal skills are necessary to succeed as a land surveyor:

–          Math and computer skills

–          Spatial skills

–          Comfortable working outside

–          Attention to detail, especially when using precise instruments

–          Ability to work in a team setting

–          Communication skills

–          Analytical skills


The salary for a land surveyor varies depending on work experience, education, employer, and location. On average, hourly wages are highest in Calgary, Alberta ($30/hr) and lowest in Toronto, Ontario ($21.91/hr).

In general, a land surveyor can expect to make an average annual income of $40,000 – $50,000, although the potential earnings can increase greatly with experience. In 2010, the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors reported that an experienced, licensed surveyor could expect to earn more than $100,000.

Looking for Work?

GoGeomatics Canada’s job board is currently posting several positions for land surveyors all across Canada. Click here to take a look!


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