Job type

Land surveyor

£20k - £70k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Combines a love of the land and geography with mathematical skill
  • Requires competency in analytical thinking as well as knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • Opportunities to progress into project/contract management, or become self-employed

Land surveyors might work on road, tunnel and bridge building projects, land redevelopment, mining, quarrying or installing power and water supply networks. As a land surveyor, you could specialise in areas such as mapping the path of rivers and streams on land or at sea, for oil and gas exploration or recovering shipwrecks.


  • Collect and analyse data to map the land for civil engineering and construction projects
  • Carry out surveys and check possible effects on the environment
  • Produce a map of the land using GPS and surveying instruments
  • Use digital images and satellite photos to create maps
  • Collect data and use geographic information systems (GIS) to analyse it
  • Monitor whether the land has moved during construction or by natural processes
  • Draw charts and maps using computer aided design (CAD)


You'll work in an office and visit project sites, with the possibility of having to wear safety clothing.

You'll need

For this role, you'll need to have knowledge of maths, engineering science, technology, and geography; analytical thinking skills; thoroughness and attention to detail; initiative; excellent verbal communication skills; and basic computer knowledge.

You'll usually need a degree or postgraduate qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant degree subjects include surveying, civil engineering, geomatics, or geographical information science. You might be able to do a postgraduate conversion course if your first degree is not related to surveying.

To get this job, you can also do a geospatial and mapping science degree apprenticeship.

You could also get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme, or a graduate diploma in surveying by distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.


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.