What Does a Construction Surveyor Do?

A construction surveyor inspects and measures land parcels that are being considered for various construction projects in general. The specifics of this person’s job depend on the type of project at hand in a variety of ways; surveying for a large project like an airport necessitates a different set of skills than, say, single-family home planning. Almost all jobs, however, rely on the same fundamental knowledge and concepts. A professional in this field will gather data on the land’s characteristics, such as its size, elevations, boundaries, and curves. He or she will usually map the land and write reports evaluating how different building plans might use the space, as well as identifying any issues with topography, soil density, or other land-specific issues. Landowners, engineers, and other land developers use this information to determine the best uses for the land and to plan safe and effective structures.

Getting a Basic Understanding of the Surveying Industry

Surveying is an important part of almost any construction project’s planning. Although most architects and construction engineers are trained in building mechanics and the construction of sound structures, the success of these projects is often dependent on the structural integrity of the buildings as well as the security of the ground on which they are built. This is where surveyors enter the picture. Surveyors in the construction industry are specially trained in evaluating land not only for its features, but also for its suitability for serving as a building site. Elevation changes, the likelihood of flooding, and topographical challenges are all factors.

Various Work Environments

A person in this position could work in a variety of settings. Residential developments, high-rise commercial buildings, shopping malls, highways, and airports are all possible surveying projects for him. People with this expertise frequently have a variety of projects available to them, and they work in a variety of settings depending on the situation. Some work for private businesses, such as construction, architecture, or engineering firms, while others work for local and regional government agencies.

Preparing the Plat

Plats, which are maps that clearly define property boundaries and describe the land’s geographic features, are one of the most common tasks performed professionals in this field. The plats are usually presented in conjunction with consultation on land development plans the surveyor. Communication with construction crews, survey staff, and clients is routinely included in these planning and analysis sessions.

Assessments of Boundary Lines

It’s not always easy to figure out what a piece of land’s boundaries and characteristics are. To determine where the legal boundaries are, it is sometimes necessary to consult old documents and drawings. To aid in the analysis of land plots, many surveyors use electronic devices and computer software. A surveyor can use a Global Positioning System (GPS) to plot exact positions and coordinates, while specialized software can be used to analyze current field data and compare it to previous maps and surveys.

Following the completion of the plans and blueprints, the surveyor usually continues to work with the builder for a period of time. Prior to breaking ground, he or she may confirm findings on elevations and preferred points for construction to begin. The construction surveyor is generally expected to answer questions about altitudes and boundaries posed the builder.

Tools that are both required and useful

The construction surveyor and her crew use a variety of tools and instruments, some of which are unique to the profession, to accurately assess land parcels. Transit theodolites and altimeters are specialized surveying instruments that measure angles and altitude. Simple stakes and rods are frequently used to demarcate boundaries and recommend construction start points on the property being surveyed.

How to Get Started in This Career

A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field is usually required of a construction surveyor. Land, project, or construction surveying experience is highly valued. In some areas, licenses or an apprenticeship period during which the novice surveyor works for an experienced surveyor are also required.