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Land Surveyors (NOC 2154) may also be called:

  • legal surveyor
  • professional land surveyor
  • property surveyor

What Would I Do?

Land Surveyors conduct surveys to establish the location of property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features.  You prepare and maintain drawings, official plans, and documents pertaining to legal surveys.

Your duties include:

  • develop plans and procedures for conducting legal surveys
  • plan, direct and oversee surveys to establish and mark legal boundaries of properties, provincial and Canada Lands, aboriginal land claims, well-sites, mining claims, utility rights-of-way, roadways and highways
  • determine exact locations using electronic distance measuring equipment and global positioning systems (GPS)
  • record all measurements and other information obtained during survey activities
  • prepare or oversee the preparation and compilation of all data, plans, charts, and documents related to surveys of real property boundaries


More information:

Am I Suited For This Job?

You should be:

  • detail-oriented
  • able to judge object shape, size, and distance
  • able to visualize abstract forms
  • physically fit

and should have:

  • math skills
  • communication skills

You may work indoors in an office setting or conduct fieldwork outdoors at a job site.

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile for Land Surveyors (NOC 2154)Career Cruising database (Profile for ‘Land surveyor’)

What Are The Wages And Benefits?

The median annual salary for land surveyors working full-time in BC is $64,654.

Job Bank Canada provides hourly wages in BC regions:

Regional hourly wages for BC regions

Source: Job Bank: Wages

In regions with harsh winters, surveying is a seasonal business; work may only be done 8 or 9 months of the year.

Economic cycles also influence surveying. During recessions, the construction industry slows down and you may find it difficult to maintain regular work.

Sources: WorkBC Career Profile & Career Cruising database

What Is The Job Outlook In BC?

The employment outlook is expected to be good for the 2016-2018 period.

Employment Outlook

employment outlook

Sources: Job Bank Canada, WorkBC Career Profile

How Do I Become a Land Surveyor?

You require certification through the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors to work as a Land Surveyor in BC.

You become certified as a ‘Commissioned Land Surveyor’ after you:

  • complete courses that meet the national academic standards established by the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS) (acceptable coursework includes a degree in geomatics engineering or survey engineering, OR college diploma in survey science or geomatics technology with additional academic credits)
  • submit your academic credentials to CBEPS who will determine if any CBEPS exams are required to obtain your ‘Certificate of Completion’ ‘(CofC)’
  • after receiving your ‘CofC’, register as a ‘Land Surveyor in Training’ with the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors (ABCLS)
  • complete between one to three year term ‘under articles’ with a licensed professional surveyor
  • successfully complete a series of professional examinations

Source: BC Land Surveyors: Becoming a Land Surveyor

Qualified Land Surveyor from Jurisdictions Outside of Canada

Source: British Columbia Land Surveyors

For further information, see:

How Do I Find A Job?

Where would I work?

Land Surveyors work for:

  • federal, provincial and municipal governments
  • land surveying companies
  • real estate development
  • natural resource, engineering and construction firms
  • may be self-employed

Finding Advertised Jobs

Jobs are advertised in a variety of sources including newspapers, magazines and online job sites.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and, in The Province on Sundays.

Online Job Postings

Finding “Hidden Jobs”

Many job vacancies are not advertised. The resources below help you with finding jobs in this “hidden” job market.

Using Directories to Create a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who are in this industry. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • BC Construction Association
    Search the members’ directories for: Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Southern Interior,  and Northern Regional
  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “Land surveying” OR “Surveyors” and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Networking, Volunteering and Temporary Agencies

Many positions are filled by people who have been recommended by someone they know. Networking, working as a volunteer or registering with a temporary employment agency are good ways of helping you find jobs and meet people in your industry.

Networking and the Hidden Job Market:

When looking for work, be sure to talk to friends, relatives and neighbours. They may know someone who is hiring! Working as a volunteer, attending events, and joining clubs and associations are good ways to gain “Canadian experience.” They are also good ways to meet people to learn about the local job market.

Volunteer opportunities

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your experience.

Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

For more information see:

Where Can This Job Lead?

Land surveyors may progress to supervisory positions, overseeing technical surveys and field crews. With many years of experience, you can become the manager or owner of a surveying business.

Source: Career Cruising database

Where Can I Find More Information?