What Do Surveyors Do?
Surveyors are responsible for determining the boundaries of a property by making precise measurements. They provide data about a certain piece of land. That data can be regarding color, topography, location, gravitation or any other relevant feature. This information is then used in mapmaking, engineering, excavation, mining, construction or land evaluation.The United States is expected to see a 10% growth in this field by 2022. This means that there will be an average of 1,340 job openings per year. The actual number of job openings depends on the state and year in question, however. These positions are typically dictated by location and demand.
Surveyors Skills and Abilities
A surveyor must possess a number of skills in order to do their job correctly and efficiently. Mathematics, for instance, plays a heavy role in this position. Critical thinking, speaking, writing and reading comprehension are also necessary skills for a surveyor. Required abilities include deductive reasoning, mathematical reasoning, number facility, and written comprehension and expression. These skills and abilities all play an integral part in being a surveyor.
The day-to-day duties of surveyors provide a healthy variety of experiences. As a surveyor, you must verify data, search records to attain information about a property, make calculations regarding terrain or features thereupon, conduct or supervise surveys, write descriptions of findings and make records. Basically, as a surveyor, you are expected to be able to conduct a full survey of a piece of land and record and interpret all the data you find. You must also be able to work within a team to achieve the same end.
Surveyors Tools and Technology
Tools for surveyors are very specific and many must be calibrated and adjusted just right to be effective. Being able to operate these tools correctly is anther required function for people in this position. Some of the necessary tools include instrument tripods, lasers, measuring rods, laser measuring tools and theodolites. The technology associated with this position largely lies with various pieces of software. Analytical or scientific software, computer aided design programs, map creation applications and project management software are all important parts of this position. An office suite is also essential for this and nearly any type of work.
Education and Training for Surveyors
Surveyors are typically expected to have a bachelor’s degree. More than 65% of all professional surveyors have a bachelor’s degree, while another 12.9% also have a master’s degree. Less than 8% have an associate’s degree, and less than 1% of people in this position have only a high school diploma. In addition, work experience is an expectation, but most companies require less than five years. On-the-job training is not necessarily expected for this position.
The median surveyor’s salary in the United States is around $57,100 per year. As an hourly rate, that sits at about $27.43 per hour for a 40-hour work week. However, there is a large amount of wiggle room for salary in this position. The top 10% earn, on average, $93,400 per year, while the bottom 10% makes only $32,700 annually. Salaries can also vary widely be state, as well, with average salaries in some locations reaching over $100,000.
Surveyors Jobs by Geography
There are five states which offer the highest employment numbers for surveyors. Those states are Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Between these five states alone, there are more than 14,000 currently held surveyor positions. California offers the highest salaries for people in this position, with a mean salary of $81,290 per year. Alaska, Rhode Island, Washington and Minnesota round out the top five highest paying states for surveyors.