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A hydrographic surveyor measures and maps the world’s underwater surfaces and studies the construction of the seabed.
Average salaries are in the region of £16,000.00 to £45,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer
A Hydrographic Surveyor (or marine surveyor) measures and maps the world’s underwater surfaces and studies the construction of the seabed. They can work on anything from inland waters and rivers to ports and oceans and may be onshore or offshore.
They work together with planners, ecologists and civil engineers to monitor and protect the environment. They usually work for government organisations, oil companies, private research groups and shipping companies.
This is one of the most fascinating careers in construction. A graduate hydrographic surveyor helps with charting and recording underwater environments.
Graduate marine surveyors must explore and use marine resources in an ethical and sustainable way. The effects of wind and waves – including changing land and sea levels – mean the coast needs to be protected. These specialist surveyors design maps of the ocean floor, lakes and riverbeds and track changes in water levels and the composition of the soil.
Hydrographic Surveyors work on a wide range of interesting sites and exciting projects. They can find themselves studying inland waters and rivers, or ports and oceans. The work may be onshore or offshore, depending on the kind of area they specialise in. They are usually employed by government organisations, oil companies, private research groups and shipping companies.
Their role includes:
They also produce accurate and reliable information for people working in:
Marine surveyors collect information about the type of seabed along with the movement of water and waves.
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility, and salaries and career options can improve with chartered status.
Further information on careers in Surveying can be found at Become a Surveyor.
Learn more about construction careers – and some of the misconceptions surrounding them – with our Mythbusters.
Most people complete a degree in surveying accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). When considering which degree to choose, subjects such as hydrographic surveying, marine sciences, civil engineering and land surveying may be useful.
To get onto a degree course, you typically need at least four GCSEs (grades A to C) or equivalent, and two A-levels (or equivalent such as Scottish Highers or the Welsh Baccalaureate). Maths and IT skills are essential.
If you have a degree in another subject like geography, you could do a post graduate course in hydrographic surveying or geomatics. Some people also enter the profession through a military career, especially through the Royal Navy.
If you want to become chartered, you need to complete the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence, which requires two years of on the job training. There is also an NVQ Level 4 in Spatial Data Management available.
You can enter a job with some subjects at Standard grade or National 5 and Highers and then study part-time for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND). This is accompanied by a period of supervised structured on the job training (Assessment of Technical Competence) as an Associate member of the RICS (AssocRICS).
Entry requirements for an HND are 2 Highers, and for a degree, 4 Highers. English and Maths are preferred.
There are other factors to consider.
You need good IT skills, including using computer-aided design (CAD) software and surveying technology.
To work offshore you must pass a medical examination every 2 years.
You must also pass an offshore survival course such as the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training Certificate (BOSIET).
To become a senior or principal hydrographic surveyor you need to add the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to your qualifications. This requires at least two years of on the job training.
Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis.
Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful:
The number of jobs vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.
According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 4210 Surveyors (which includes Hydrographic Surveyors) every year for the period 2017 - 2021. The highest demand will be in the South East followed by West Midlands, Wales, North East and North West.
Explore the progression opportunities below