Due to the ruggedness of the Earth, it is sometimes hard to determine the boundaries of certain properties and lots. The determination and measuring of three dimensional points on the earth is called surveying. The people who do this kind of work are called surveyors. They plot the points on surveying maps by determining the distance between points and the angles that are formed with the intersection of these points. With these shapes, surveyors can determine ownership of lands and accepted boundaries and limitations
It sounds really complicated - and the big part of the reason is because it really is very complicated. The science of surveying involves so many elements of mathematics that it may repel anyone who can't think abstractly. The profession also requires one to think in three dimensional shapes of different configuration, so it does take a special kind of brain to be a surveyor.
The work of a surveyor is very critical. They are expected to be very precise - the tolerance level is somewhere close to 1/8 of an inch! Their work and findings are used by a lot of other professionals. Civil engineers benefit from their output because they base their plans for new roads, bridges and dams on the sketches created by surveyors. Other professionals like architects and construction specialists also depend on the skill of surveyors.
To be a surveyor, one must exhibit aptitude in the fields of mathematics. Trigonometry and geometry are two of the many subjects that have great application in surveying. These subjects are usually taught in high school, so familiarity and excellence in these two subjects would really help you in the long run. Aside from these, a potential surveyor should need to know the basics of the law regarding property, lot ownership and other related issues. This profession combines mathematics, science, and a little bit of law.
There are colleges and universities that offer degrees in Land Surveying. This course is also referred to as "geodetic engineering" by other institutions. While in school, you will be learning the different types of surveying. It can deal with a lot of things. There are surveying techniques that are meant for analysis of eroded land, deformed landscapes and even the sea floor! The list of styles and techniques simply goes on and on.
You would also be using a lot of surveying tools while in school. There are two sets of tools that a surveyor would use. One set would be the one that he uses to measure the actual pieces of land, and the other set would be the ones used to plot and draw the measurements that he derives from the first set of tools. Familiarity with these tools will be priceless, since the real work of a surveyor is no different from practice in school.
After graduation, you would have to take the licensing exam held by the state regulatory board. If you can pass this exam, you may then opt to work right away or continue getting an education in one or more specializations under surveying. Certification for these specialized topics is also governed by the state board.
Surveying is an interesting profession, because a surveyor essentially maps the face of the Earth. With the popularity of online applications that use satellite imagery and mapping, the potentials and benefits of being in this field are only starting to emerge.