How Do I Get a Land Surveyor License?

A bachelor’s degree, a preliminary license test, and field experience are all required to obtain a land surveyor license. General surveying fundamentals, such as software mapping and mathematical computations, are required of land surveyors. In the United States, surveyors must be familiar with the regulations enacted their home state. Without a valid license and ongoing surveying education, a person cannot practice as a professional land surveyor.

A four-year college degree in a related field, such as engineering or mathematics, is required for most land surveyors. To correctly analyze a land form, surveyors must be able to perform complex calculations, such as trigonometry and calculus. A strong science and math background will aid you in launching a successful surveying career. Prior to obtaining a land surveyor license, specialized courses in global positioning systems (GPS) and cartography are usually required. These specialty classes are tailored to aspiring surveyors.

Many surveying students take a fundamentals test shortly before graduating from college to begin their path toward obtaining a land surveyor license. Over 100 questions about common surveying regulations and data collection practices are asked in this basic entry level test. Before you can work in the field, you must pass the fundamentals test. Passing this test ensures that you understand core surveying theories, allowing you to build on that knowledge with future field experience.

One of the best ways to solidify surveying theories and apply them in real-world projects is to get hands-on experience. You’ll work with an experienced surveyor in the field to complete the day’s surveying work. Carrying heavy equipment and walking long distances are part of the job, as are maneuvering up and down rural hills and navigating urban street intersections. The majority of surveying work is done in the field, with office work reserved for data analysis and creating maps of surveyed areas.

Before a person can obtain a land surveyor license in the United States, each state requires a specific amount of field experience. The surveyor can take the final license exam after completing the required field experience. This exam is similar to the fundamentals exam, but it includes more in-depth questions about legal and business parameters. You will receive your land surveyor license if you pass this exam.

To stay current with surveying regulations, you must continue your education as a professional land surveyor. Throughout the year, classes on new laws and even surveying instrumentation are frequently offered. Because software and hardware for surveying professionals is constantly changing, surveyors must stay current with continuing education to be successful in the field and in the office.