How to Become a Surveyor
By Eric Hammer
So you want to become a surveyor, huh? Becoming a surveyor
is a great idea if you love working outdoors and you love working
with your hands. Basically, what a surveyor does is to check
on a piece of land and figure out where the boundaries of it
are. It's kind of like being a cartographer, however there is
much more to it than that.
Surveyors also figure out what a particular piece of land
is like and they make lists of properties of a piece of land.
So for example, they'll not the slope and angle of a piece of
land rather than simply demarcating the borders.
Some surveyors will also take detailed geological surveys
which can help determine if there is something underneath the
land that may be worth exploiting (for example, there may be
mineral or oil deposits). These kinds of surveyors are actually
in high demand these days because they have special training
which ordinary surveyors don't have and they can therefore command
a premium for their services.
How Much Can You Make?
According to the bureau of labor statistics, the average salary
for a surveyor in 2008 was $55,980. However, surveyors who work
in more specialized fields can command a premium for their services.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that being a surveyor requires an eye for detail
and requires that you enjoy working outside and inside. In addition
to taking details about a piece of land down, you'll also need
to research legal records in order to find out if a claim to
a piece of land seems legitimate or not. This means that you
need to be something of a jack of all trades since the work is
so varied as opposed to most other professions.
You also need to be able to visualize a space in your mind's
eye so that you can effectively survey a piece of land. Otherwise,
you'll never be able to keep track of it, even if you perform
the measurements correctly.
Qualifications / Requirements
While you don't have to have a college degree in order to
become a surveyor, it definitely helps, especially if you are
trying to get into one of the higher paid, specialized fields
of surveying as opposed to being a general surveyor. In all cases,
you'll need a minimum of certain courses and a state license
in order to work as a surveyor, though you can work as an assistant
without any prior knowledge.
Start by taking a temp or summer job as a surveyor's assistant.
See what the job is like and ask lots of questions. This way,
you'll know if this is something you really want to do with your
life or if it's something that you would just as soon never do
again. Then, go to school and earn the certification and or degrees
you'll need to become a surveyor.