What Does a Surveyor Do?

Surveying is an important job that helps to prevent legal disputes and building code violations. The job of a surveyor is to take detailed measurements of a piece of land. This helps to determine the boundaries of a property, plan construction projects, and make maps. As long as there is a need to establish legal boundaries, surveyors will be in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 6% growth in employment in this field by 2028.

Many people think of surveyors as working out in the field, but this is only partly true. A significant part of the job takes place inside conducting research.

Field Duties

A surveyor or surveying team travels out to the property to be surveyed to measure distances and angles not only on the surface of the earth, but also above and below it. This includes analyzing the shape and contour of the ground.

Surveying that takes place out in the field requires certain tools. A theodolite is an ancient surveying tool that allows the surveyor to triangulate an object’s position by measuring vertical and horizontal angles. A trundle wheel can produce accurate length and distance measurements over uneven surfaces by rolling over the ground. In addition to these more traditional tools, surveyors also make use of modern technological advances, such as Global Positioning Systems. A GPS unit can precisely locate referencing points with information from a system of satellites orbiting the earth.

Research Duties

After collecting data out in the field, a surveyor then needs to confirm his or her findings. This is accomplished by conducting research into land titles and survey records at a library or land office.

A surveyor must present the findings collected in the field and confirmed through research to government agencies as well as clients. After verifying the accuracy of the data and recording the results, the surveyor prepares the necessary reports, as well as plots and maps, to make a detailed presentation.