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Land surveyor

Geomatic surveyor

Land surveyors measure and map the shape of land. They gather data for civil engineering and construction projects so that accurate site plans can be drawn. As a surveyor, you’ll be part of a fast-moving, technologically advanced industry. Much of your time will be spent on-site, using technical instruments to record the environment.

Average salary*

£20000

-

£70000

Typical hours per week

38 - 40

Number employed in the UK

71,920

How to become a land surveyor

You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a university course, a graduate training scheme, or an apprenticeship.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

You will need to complete a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant subjects include surveying, civil engineering, geomatics or geographical information science.

For an undergraduate degree, you’ll need:

  • 5 GCSEs (including English and maths) at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent
  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent.

Graduate training scheme

If your first degree isn’t relevant to surveying, you could do a postgraduate conversion course at university, or through an employer.

You could also gain higher qualifications through an employer’s graduate training scheme. If you have a foundation degree or graduate diploma in surveying, you could get a graduate job as a surveying technician. You could then apply for RICS membership and study to be a fully qualified land surveyor.

Some people become surveyors by working for a surveying practice and completing a distance learning course with the University College of Estate Management.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a land surveying company is a good way into the industry. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16.  As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

You could start your career as a surveying technician or a geospatial survey technician.

Entry requirements vary, but you’ll usually need:

  • 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent
  • A levels, or equivalent.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works in construction. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience


What does a land surveyor do?

  • Carrying out surveys of the environment with construction projects in mind
  • Working in diverse sectors, such as construction, property, cartography (maps), offshore engineering and exploration
  • Assessing land due for redevelopment
  • Surveying airports, landfill sites, mines, quarries, pipeline systems and more
  • Managing and monitoring projects from start to finish
  • Producing maps using GPS, surveying instruments, digital images and satellite photographs
  • Analysing data using geographic information systems (GIS) and drawing charts using computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Monitoring changes in the land during the construction process
  • Writing reports and sharing crucial information with colleagues and clients
  • Working in an office, with regular site visits.


How much could you earn as a land surveyor?

  • Newly qualified surveyors can earn £20,000 – £25,000
  • This can rise to £25,000 – £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.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest land/ geomatic Surveyor vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

You could apply for chartered status through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This will improve your job prospects and you could earn a higher salary.

With experience, you could become a project or contract manager, or specialise in an area such as offshore engineering or construction surveying.

Some land surveyors work as self-employed consultants or sub-contractors.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Land surveyor Be part of an on-site team, involved in measuring & mapping out the land. Find o...
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  • Current role Self-employed contractor/sub-contractor As a contractor or subcontractor, you'll be working directly with your clients t...
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  • Current role Contracts manager During a construction project, the contracts manager overseas the contracts proc...
    Read more
  • Current role Project manager Oversee construction projects from start to finish in order to achieve successfu...
    Read more
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