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Agriculture

Land surveyor

Land surveyors measure the shape of the land, and gather data for civil engineering and construction projects.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £70,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Land surveyor jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

You'll collect and analyse data to map the land for civil engineering and construction projects. This will include:

  • carrying out surveys and checking possible effects on the environment
  • producing a map of the land, using GPS and surveying instruments
  • using digital images and satellite photos to create maps
  • collecting data and using geographic information systems (GIS) to analyse it
  • monitoring whether the land has moved during construction or by natural processes
  • drawing charts and maps using computer aided design (CAD)

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in an office or on a construction site.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • a graduate training scheme
University

You'll usually need a relevant degree or postgraduate qualification, accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • civil engineering
  • geomatics
  • geographical information science

You may be able to do a postgraduate conversion course if your first degree is not related to surveying.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could do a geospatial and mapping science degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information
Other routes

You could get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme.

You could also get a graduate diploma in surveying by distance learning, with the University College of Estate Management, if you're working for a surveying practice.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a land surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Survey Association.

With experience, you could move into project management or contract management. You could specialise in an aspect of surveying, or work as a self-employed consultant.

Applying for chartered status through RICScould improve your career prospects.

You may also be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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