Land Surveyor

Job Description:

Land surveyors measure the shape of the land, and gather data for civil engineering and construction projects.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

In this role you will:

  • collect and analyse data to map the land for civil engineering and construction projects
  • carry out surveys and identify potential effects of construction on the environment
  • use GPS and surveying instruments
  • use digital images and satellite photos
  • collect and analyse data using geographic information systems (GIS)
  • monitor land movement as a result of construction and natural processes
  • create charts and maps using computer-aided design (CAD)


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of geography
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition/drive)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Land Surveyor, you’ll need a combination of subjects and qualifications that provide a strong foundation in mathematics, science, and technical skills. Land Surveyors are responsible for measuring and mapping the Earth’s surface and collecting data related to land and property boundaries. Here are the typical subjects and skills that can be beneficial for pursuing a career in land surveying:

  1. Mathematics: Mathematics is essential for land surveying, as it involves complex measurements and calculations. A strong foundation in geometry and trigonometry is particularly important.
  2. Physics or Science: Physics or a related science subject can be helpful, as it provides an understanding of fundamental principles related to measurements and physical phenomena.
  3. Geography: Geography can provide valuable knowledge about the Earth’s surface, landforms, and geographical concepts, which are relevant to land surveying.
  4. Design and Technology: Courses in design and technology can help you develop practical skills, including the use of surveying equipment and tools.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computers and specialized surveying software is essential for data analysis and report generation.
  6. English Language: Effective communication is crucial in this profession, as you’ll need to write reports, communicate with clients, and present your findings.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme

You’ll usually need a relevant degree or postgraduate qualification.

Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • civil engineering
  • geomatics
  • geographical information science

You may be able to do a postgraduate conversion course if your first degree is not related to surveying.

You could do a geospatial and mapping science degree apprenticeship.

Other Routes
You could get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme.

You could also get a graduate diploma in surveying by distance learning, with the University College of Estate Management, if you’re working for a surveying practice.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical working hours could be variable.

You could work in an office or on a construction site.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into project management or contract management. You could specialise in an aspect of surveying, or work as a self-employed consultant.

You may also be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status.