How To Become a Professional Surveyor

Your career as a professional surveyor can begin as early as high school.  One of the first steps is determining whether or not you have a true passion for the career.  Enjoying and excelling in subjects such as geometry, trigonometry, algebra, drafting and drawing can be a deciding factor when deciding whether to pursue a career as a professional surveyor.

Following high school, the next step in becoming a professional surveyor would be to find a college or university that specializes in this field.  Many resources are available online for finding a school that specializes in surveying including and  Researching schools is vital to starting your career as a professional surveyor.  Although a four-year degree is not always required to become a licensed surveyor, it is recommended and can help boost your efforts and increase your appeal to potential employers.

During college, it is important to become involved with local surveying firms.  Applying for summer or full time internships is a great way to get your foot in the door.  Nothing can help you become more successful than on-the-job experience, especially in surveying.  The more field time you acquire during college, the closer you are to becoming a professional surveyor.

One of the most useful skills in becoming a professional surveyor is knowing how to use Global Positioning System, or GPS.  Although surveying is one of society's oldest professions, and the overall practice of the profession hasn't changed, the old pen and paper technique for recording points and positions has long become extinct.  With the advances of modern technology, today's firms now use GPS to accurately record and plot the land.  College or technical classes are available to not only teach you how to do this, but to refresh your knowledge on the latest GPS systems.

Depending on the state, a specific number of years working as a surveyor is typically required before you are able to acquire a license. Between two to four years is a minimal requirement that must be reached before taking the licensing exams.  Once your work criteria have been met, you will be able to take the required licensing exams for your state and will be one step closer to becoming a professional surveyor.

After you have completed and passed the required license exams, you will want to seek out professional certification.  This normally isn't a requirement in order to practice as a professional surveyor, but it will help you stand out among other applicants for a position at a firm.


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