Building a Career in Surveying and Growth Opportunities in the Field

Building a Career

When referring to surveyors, people may be talking about individuals dealing with land, building, engineering, or even insurance or marine cargo. On this page we are going to talk about building a career in surveying as well as growth opportunities in the field.

Qualifications and Training

Careers in surveying require a basic engineering diploma or degree. You can also opt for highly specialized practical training in surveying. If that specialized training is coupled with an engineering education, and allow a person to progress even further in the field.

Building a Career

Land Surveyor

A land surveyor will be entrusted with checking contours and dimensions of the land before any work is donel Land surveyors are needed to set out road alignments, rail alignments and the exact position of other planned engineering structures.

Land surveying goes back to Biblical times, when people were entrusted with the task of demarcating boundaries. Certain technologies for surveys can even be found in the bible, like in Ezekiel 42:16 -19. In ancient times certain fixed lengths were used to measure land boundaries that were painstakingly laid out on the ground.

This, later gave way to optical instruments like theodolites, levels and other devices. Technologies have greatly developed since then, and while earlier surveyors used optical devices for ranging and sighting, present techniques use GPS methods to accurately pinpoint locations.

Laser based instruments allow measurements to be taken from one point, while still maintaining complete accuracy.  Land surveyors need to work in the field as well as in the office. Readings taken on the field are transferred to maps or input into computers, which can then produce detailed maps.

Building Surveyor

Building surveyors are required to understand and interpret building laws. They will have to go through building plans and ensure that they are in full compliance with local regulations. They will need to interact with builders, architects and engineers. They may also be required to go through plans and judge whether they follow technical codes. Building surveyors therefore need some knowledge about design and materials. They may also be required to go through existing structures, assess their compliance with codes and laws, and suggest any changes necessary for ensuring this.


Quantity Surveyor

The job of a quantity surveyor is to manage all costs of any building project. The initial job is to evaluate the property and then prepare estimations of the likely costs to be incurred to complete the project as required by the stakeholder. This then has to be approved by the owners, after which the quantity surveyor is required to prepare contract documents to be given out. Once the contract is awarded, the quantity surveyor will be required to assess work carried out, certify payments and ensure that the project is moving along within the approved budget.

Job Prospects

Building and construction work is never ending and this means that there’ll always be a need for surveyors. Prospects for land surveyors are limited in urban areas, but are never ending for infrastructure projects like roads, railways, ports, bridges etc.  Building and quantity surveyors also enjoy plentiful job opportunities.

Salaries can start from £15000 per year and experienced surveyors can earn higher salaries. Experienced surveyors can hope to draw higher salaries that can go up to £50000 per year.

There is always demand for surveyors and a lot of building or quantity surveyors may wish to set up on their own, so that they can increase their earnings.  after gaining the necessary experience, some surveyors move on to start their own company. Working in the field for a while can help you gain the experience you need and can also help you develop the contacts necessary for venturing out on your own.

Surveyors can greatly increase their career prospects if they earn accreditation with institutions. This also enables them to be in touch with others in the profession and such contacts can always help you further you career.