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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 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

Future employment

There will be 5% more Land surveyor jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You could work on road, tunnel and bridge building projects, land redevelopment, mining, quarrying or installing power and water supply networks.

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)

You could specialise in mapping the path of rivers and streams on land or at sea, for oil and gas exploration or recovering ship wrecks.

You'll usually need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant degree subjects include:

  • surveying
  • civil engineering
  • geomatics
  • geographical information science

If your degree is not approved by RICS, you could take a postgraduate qualification, for example a distance learning course through College of Estate Management (CEM).

If you don't have a degree, you can ask RICS to assess your qualifications and experience.

£20,000 to £70,000

Starter salary: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced salary: £30,000 to £50,000

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You'll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week. There may be early starts, late finishes and weekend work.

You'll work in an office and visit project sites. You may need to stay overnight.

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 RICS could improve your career prospects.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • excellent science, maths and engineering skills
  • the ability to analyse and interpret graphical data
  • excellent communication, negotiating and presentation skills
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