Land/Geomatics Surveyor

hat work is involved?

  As a land/geomatics surveyor, you would be primarily concerned with the accurate measurement of the natural and built environment, the description and classification of features, the analysis and collation of relevant data and the presentation of data in forms required by users such as architects, civil engineers, property developers, planners, solicitors, environmentalists, geologists, archaeologists, geographers and map makers. Your work would be an essential preliminary to virtually all planning, property development and construction, major engineering and other projects relating to the natural environment and urban infrastructure.
  You would learn about the traditional survey methods of triangulation and traversing, and would use them when appropriate, but you would come to rely more and more on satellite geodesy and computerised mapping and Geographic and Land Information Systems. Your detailed surveys would often be based on plotting from aerial photography and the use of sophisticated computer-driven plotting equipment.

pportunities for training

  Land surveying is part of the geomatics faculty of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). There are various routes to full RICS membership but the most likely in this case would be to take an accredited degree or postgraduate course in land surveying or a similar subject with a land or geomatics option. Your course should introduce you to the major methods of measuring and recording data, from levels, theodolites and simple maps to techniques involving the modern technology outlined above. An introduction to positioning and navigation using the Global Positioning System (GPS) would also be given and a residential field course would ensure that you could apply your knowledge to real-world tasks. On completion of your accredited course, you would be eligible to move to the two-year RICS structured training stage with an employer, concluding with an interview known as the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
  Postgraduate courses in more specialist areas are also available, including subjects such as geodetic surveying, environmental management and earth observation, hydroinformatics and geographical information science.

equirements for entry

  You would normally need three A level/Advanced Higher, four Higher or equivalent qualifications to enter an accredited degree in a surveying discipline, together with five GCSE/S Grade passes at 9-4/A*-C/1-3, including English and maths.

ind of person

  Your job would involve the interpretation and analysis of data, requiring you to be observant and comfortable with numerical work. There would be extensive use of computers, so you would need to be confident in using the relevant software packages. You would need to be well organised and ordered in your approach to work as you would be collecting data from a number of different sources, often at enormous expense. You would usually work as a member of a team, particularly on larger projects. This might involve you in managing and coordinating the work of members of your team. In addition to liaising with fellow professionals, you might have to explain quite complicated and technical information to clients with little previous knowledge. You would need to be physically fit, as you are likely to spend a lot of time out on site or in open countryside.

road outlook for the future

  The demand for land surveyors depends to a great extent on developments in construction and civil engineering, and until very recently the picture has been most encouraging as the housing market strengthened and demand for industrial, office, retail and leisure facilities rose considerably. Now due to a number of factors, including uncertainty over Brexit, the UK construction market is seeing a drop in demand after several buoyant years, and there is concern that workloads, profits and employment may stagnate or fall.
  You may be able to work abroad, or to branch out into areas such as archaeological surveying. Land surveyors are employed in certain government departments, large construction and civil engineering companies and local authorities. There are also increasing opportunities to work in private practice or as an independent consultant.

elated occupations

  You might also consider: surveyor (general practice), hydrographic surveyor, quantity surveyor, rural practice surveyor, building surveyor, engineering geologist, environmental consultant, geologist/geoscientist, town planner, architect, cartographer or civil engineer.

mpact on lifestyle

  This is unlikely to be a nine to five job. Whilst there would be times when you are based in an office with regular hours, you would also be expected to go out to sites. When on location, you could be in a remote area, which might take a long time to reach.

arnings potential

  The average graduate salary is around £22,000, rising to around £30,000 to £40,000 on reaching chartered status. With seniority and experience, you should be able to earn £45,000 to £75,000 a year. Salaries in the commercial fields tend to be greater than those in the public sector and surveyors working in cities earn more than their rural counterparts.
  The RICS Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2017 reports a continuing gender pay gap, with male property professionals earning an average of £11,000 more than their female counterparts.

urther information/valuable websites

  Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  Faculty of Architecture and Surveying, Chartered Institute of Building
  Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors
  Survey Association
  Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland