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Land Surveying

Land Surveying


Education and Certification Requirements for Land Surveying


Most people prepare for a career as a licensed surveyor by combining postsecondary school courses in surveying with extensive on-the-job training. The key to this approach is lining up a job that allows you to intern while studying.  However, as technology advances, a 4-year college degree is increasingly becoming a prerequisite. A number of universities now offer 4-year programs leading to a bachelor’s degree in surveying. Junior and community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational schools offer 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year programs in both surveying and surveying technology.


All 50 States and all U.S. territories license surveyors. For licensure, most State licensing boards require that individuals pass a written examination given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Most States also require surveyors to pass a written examination prepared by the State licensing board. In addition, candidates must meet varying standards of formal education and work experience in the field.  Those requirements vary by state.


The formal name for the degree is usually Geomatics Engineering.  It is usually found in a university's engineering or civil engineering department.  Purdue University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in the field; you can review the details of this course of study at  The reason that this profession has evolved into one requiring a baccalaureate is the increasing complexity of the technology involved in the science.  Satellite photography and GES systems are now part of the land surveyor's gear, along with the tripod and eyeglass.

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