Is Becoming a Licensed Land Surveyor the Right Career for You?

When you are in high school it can be quite confusing to decide the path that you want to take after you graduate school, but if you have already decided to become a licensed land surveyor, you should be ready to work hard to become one. The path to becoming a licensed land surveyor is not easy. You need to be determined to achieve your dreams. 

Land surveyors mainly map areas or land. They study the dimensions and features of the land. It is not just enough to become a land surveyor; you need to have a license to start working on the field. Acquiring a license takes time, and you may need to pass examinations to become a licensed land surveyor. Different regions may have different licenses, so the region where you will be working also plays a significant role. Keep reading to find out what you need to become a licensed land surveyor.

Licensed land surveyor
Licensed land surveyor

Educational Qualifications That You Need To Become a Licensed Land Surveyor: 

To become a Licensed land surveyor, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in land surveying or any other related field like forestry or civil Engineering. You need to carry good marks in physics as well as in calculus. Some of the universities have designed land surveying courses, especially for students like you to help you gain all the skills that are needed in this field. Some colleges offer a land surveying course that includes a separate course like cartography or mapping. 

The syllabus for land surveyor course includes geography, surveying methods, and geology. 

Students are encouraged to take specialized training in CAD. They are required to work in labs using essential land surveying tools like lasers, optical alignment tools, levels and electronic distance meters.

While studying for the course, students are also encouraged to take up summer internships and gain work experience which is essential to get a license after graduating from college. Without a license, you cannot work in this field. 

How to Get a License?

Licensed land surveyor
Licensed land surveyor

If you graduate from a college that is recognized by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), it will be easier for you to get a license. However, you can still get a license even if you did not graduate from a college accredited by ABET. You need to pass two examinations that are conducted by the National Council for Examiners of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) to gain a license. The first examination is the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, and the second one is the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam. You can sit for the first exam when you are appearing for the final year of your bachelor program. After passing the exam, you need to keep working for about four years straight and then sit for the second exam. The first exam includes topics like mathematics, basic surveying concepts and science, while the second exam covers topics like legal, business practice, principles, professional practices and types of surveys. 

What Skills Should You Have to Become Successful in This Field?

In this field, detail-oriented individuals tend to do well. This is because the area requires someone who can look over every single detail carefully, as the documents or reports produced will be legally binding, and mistakes are not tolerated in this field. 


It is common for land or property line issues to crop up in this field. As a land surveyor, you have to keep all the documents about a land updated; all changes should be recorded along with the reason for the change. If you have all these qualities, you should prepare yourself for admission to a land surveying course. 

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