Land Surveyors

(NOC 2154)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to establish the location of real property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features, and prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to these surveys. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, private sector land surveying establishments, real estate development, natural resource, engineering and construction firms, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 20 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Land Surveyors most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 67% of Land Surveyors who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $56,148. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$22.50

Minimum

$32.00

Median

$40.87

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,871

Minimum

$48,880

Median

$105,036

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to establish the location of real property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features, and prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to these surveys. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, private sector land surveying establishments, real estate development, natural resource, engineering and construction firms, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Land surveyors perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop survey plans, methods and procedures for conducting legal surveys.
  • Plan, direct and supervise or conduct surveys to establish and mark legal boundaries of properties, parcels of lands, provincial and Canada Lands, Aboriginal land claims, wellsites, mining claims, utility rights-of-way, roadways and highways.
  • Survey and lay out subdivisions for rural and urban development.
  • Determine precise locations using electronic distance measuring equipment and global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Analyze, manage and display data using geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design and drafting (CAD).
  • Record all measurements and other information obtained during survey activities.
  • Prepare or supervise the preparation and compilation of all data, plans, charts, records and documents related to surveys of real property boundaries.
  • Certify and assume liability for surveys made to establish real property boundaries.
  • Advise, provide consultation and testify as an expert witness on matters related to legal surveys.

Sample job titles

  • Canada lands surveyor
  • land survey supervisor
  • land surveyor
  • legal surveyor
  • pipeline surveyor
  • property surveyor
  • provincial land surveyor

Skills

For this type of work, you should be physically fit and enjoy working outdoors. Good health and eyesight are necessary. You must be capable of precise and detailed work, and be able to perform mathematical calculations quickly. Strong technical abilities in the use of new and emerging technologies and an aptitude for mathematics and physics at the high school level are important. A high level of communication skills is essential. You must be able to communicate both verbally and in written form on technical, legal, and business issues.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in geomatics engineering or survey engineering or a college diploma in survey science or geomatics technology with additional academic credits and successful completion of equivalent examinations set by a regional board of examiners for land surveyors is required.
  • A one- to three-year articling period is required.
  • Successful completion of professional land surveyor examinations is required.
  • A federal or provincial land surveyor's licence is required.
  • Federal statutes require a separate licence from the Association of Canada Land Surveyors to survey areas such as national parks, Aboriginal lands, offshore areas and northern territories.

Other considerations

Work in these jobs is seasonal, with unemployment highest in the winter months. Surveyors usually work regular hours; however, they often work longer hours during the summer in order to meet their clients' deadlines.

By the numbers

Quick look

210

employed in 2016

88.9%

employed full-time

28.6%

self employed

0.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
100%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.5

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

33.3%

Halifax

25.9%

Northern

18.5%

Cape Breton

16.7%

Annapolis Valley

5.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

69.0%

Professional Business Services

16.7%

Construction

7.1%

Other Industries

7.1%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

27.4%

35-44

24.2%

55-64

21.0%

25-34

14.5%

45-54

9.7%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

54.7%

College certificate or diploma

N/A
26.4%

Bachelor's degree

$60,404 median annual income
7.5%

Trades certificate

N/A
5.7%

University certificate or diploma

N/A
5.7%

High school

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Cartography

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of mapmaking and the application of mathematical, computer, and other techniques to the science of mapping geographic information. These programs include courses in cartographic theory and map projections, computer-assisted cartography, map design and layout, photogrammetry, air photo interpretation, remote sensing, cartographic editing, and applications to specific industrial, commercial, research, and governmental mapping problems.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Geography

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of the spatial distribution and interrelationships of people, natural resources, plant and animal life. These programs include courses in historical and political geography, cultural geography, economic and physical geography, regional science, cartographic methods, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and applications to areas such as land-use planning, development studies, and analyses of specific countries, regions, and resources.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Surveying technology/surveying

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the delineation, determination, planning and positioning of land tracts, land and water boundaries, land contours and features; and the preparation of related maps, charts and reports. These programs include courses in applied geodesy, computer graphics, photointerpretation, plane and geodetic surveying, mensuration, traversing, survey equipment operation and maintenance, instrument calibration, and basic cartography.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Canada Lands Surveyor

Not Provincially Regulated: This job may be regulated by a federal regulatory body.

Regulating body:
Association of Canada Lands Surveyors
900 Dynes Road, Sute 100E
Ottawa, ON K2C 3L6
(613) 723-9200
(613) 723-5558
Land Surveyor

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors
325A Prince Albert Road
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1N5
(902) 469-7962
(902) 469-7963

Contacts

Professional Surveyors Canada
900 Dynes Road, Suite 101B
Ottawa, ON K2C 3L6
Tel: (613) 695-8333
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Canadian Institute of Geomatics
900 Dynes Road, Suite 100D
Ottawa, ON K2C 3L6
Tel: (613) 224-9851
Fax: (613) 224-9577

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.