Resources Construction Ambassadors Matching Service Matching Service Cymraeg Go Construct - Industry led, funded by the CITB levy

Land or Geomatic surveyors discover the lie of the land. They map the shape of land for civil engineering and construction projects so that accurate site plans can be drawn up.

Average salaries are in the region of £19,000.00 to £70,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Land or Geomatic surveyors discover the lie of the land. They map the shape of land for civil engineering and construction projects so that accurate site plans can be drawn up.

What they do

Land/Geomatics surveyors measure and collect data on specific areas of land. Once the data is interpreted, it is used for a variety of purposes. Geomatics is one of the most technologically advanced of the surveying specialist roles and has a key role in a diverse range of sectors, including:

  • Construction
  • Property
  • Cartography
  • Offshore engineering and exploration
  • Geographical information systems

Land/geomatics surveyors assess land due for redevelopment and survey a range of different areas, including airports, landfill sites, mines and quarries, and pipeline and distribution systems.

Surveyors who have chartered status are more likely to be involved in the managing and monitoring of projects from start to finish.

They work both on site and in the office and some projects may involve overnight stays away from home.

Hours & Salary:

  • Newly qualified surveyors can earn between £20,000 and £23,000 a year
  • This can rise to between £30,000 and £40,000 with chartered status
  • Senior surveyors can earn up to £70,000 or more

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

Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

As a Junior Surveyor my main roles are to carry out topographic surveys and assist on measured building surveys. A topographic survey identifies and accurately maps the contours of the land and its existing features, including, trees, buildings, streets, walkways, manholes and utility poles.

A measured building survey creates an accurate representation of the external and internal structure and architectural features of a property. The data collected on site is then processed in the office to produce the scale drawings, elevations, sections and floor plans required.

I am required to organise my work time, to liaise with clients and construction workers and occasionally manage other surveyors on my projects.  My role also involves using a range of different surveying equipment, including a robotic total station which is an instrument that automatically records angles and distances for accurate and efficient measurement. I also use a level for measuring differences in height and a GPS Rover mounted on a pole, for ease of portability between points.

How did you get started? 

Before starting at Technics I completed a BSc Geography degree at the University of Sussex, which gave me some experience in surveying, GPS and levelling.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The mix of being outside and being in the office throughout the week; freedom to work independently; seeing lots of different places throughout the UK and learning new skills on a regular basis. 

What skills do you need? 

  • The ability to make and record accurate measurements
  • Attention to detail
  • Good understanding of mathematical concepts
  • Logical thinking
  • Good communication  
  • Good organisation
  • Able to work independently and within a given time frame
  • Clean driving licence 

What makes you proud? 

Shortly after starting to do my own projects, I was given a large topographic survey to do at a golf course.  I was quite pleased they gave me this opportunity as there were more senior colleagues they could have given this to.  Throughout this project I had to look after two other surveyors and delegate tasks to them.  I am proud that I was able to complete this on time and that the client was happy with the survey. 

Where do you want to be in 10 years? 

Hopefully, in 10 years I will be a Senior Surveyor able to complete measured building surveys and setting out.  Surveying is fundamental to the construction industry and setting out creates the reference points and markers that developers use to create new structures, roads and buildings.  I also hope that I will get the opportunity to learn 3D laser scanning and Building Information Modelling (BIM).  Laser scanning is exciting, automated technology capable of rapidly capturing large amounts of spatial data in 3D.  The government's BIM programme uses specific technologies and processes for the electronic sharing of all project documentation and asset information during the life-cycle of a building.

In the future I aim to move up to a managerial role, achieve membership of a professional association and sit on an influential committee involved in the surveying industry. 

Any advice about joining the construction industry? 

Try to gain some work experience and spend time researching which type of surveying you would like to carry out. 

With kind permission from The Survey Association.

Qualifications & Training

You normally need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for this career.

If you have a non-accredited degree, you may need to take a post-graduate course in surveying or have more than five years of relevant work experience to become chartered. Relevant subjects include surveying, civil engineering and geographical information science.

If you have an HNC/HND or foundation degree in surveying, you can look for work as a surveying technician and apply for RICS associate membership. This can also be done while you are training. You can then study to be a fully qualified land surveyor. 

Once you are qualified and working as a land or geomatic surveyor, you can work towards chartered status with the RICS. That means completing the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) while you’re working. You need at least two years of post-graduate experience and have to pass an interview with a panel of assessors. 

Gaining chartered status gives you a competitive edge over other surveyors because it is highly valued and recognised around the world. It opens up career opportunities and leads to earn senior management positions and higher earnings.


You gain chartered status by following one of the routes approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Studying a degree accredited by RICS in a subject such as geomatics, geographic information science or surveying and mapping science, followed by a period of supervised practical training (Assessment of Professional Competence).

If your degree is not RICS-accredited, you can do an accredited postgraduate qualification.

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) and surveying  software.

You usually need a driving licence.

You must be fit enough to climb ladders and hills and scramble over rough ground.

Staff on construction sites must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent, to prove their competence to do the job. You will need to pass a health and safety test to qualify for this scheme.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy? 

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Total Jobs

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.

Career trends and forecasts

3980 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 3980 Surveyors (which includes Land/Geomatic Surveyors) every year between 2017 - 2021.  The highest demand will be in the South East followed by West Midlands, Wales, North East and North West.

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

Find out more
Web design by S8080