Land Surveyors

(NOC 2154)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

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

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 40 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 slightly over the next few years, which should 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. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 64% 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

$20.00

Minimum

$28.00

Median

$51.79

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,871

Minimum

$48,880

Median

$105,036

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

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

Job duties

Land surveyors:

  • Develop survey plans, methods, and procedures for conducting legal surveys.
  • Survey to confirm 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 collected during survey activities.
  • Prepare and compile all data, plans, charts, records, and documents related to surveys of real property boundaries.
  • Certify and assume liability for surveys made to determine real property boundaries.
  • Consult 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

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 in spoken and 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.
  • 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 like 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 to meet their clients' deadlines.

By the numbers

Quick look

270

employed in 2016

89.1%

employed full-time

21.8%

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

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

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%

North Shore

18.5%

Cape Breton

16.7%

Annapolis Valley

5.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

72.1%

Professional, scientific and technical services

16.3%

Construction

7.0%

Public administration

4.7%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

35-44

23.0%

65+

23.0%

55-64

23.0%

25-34

8.0%

45-54

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

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

52.7%

College Diploma

$50,163 median annual income
25.5%

Bachelor

$45,667 median annual income
7.3%

Apprenticeship

N/A
5.5%

High school

N/A
3.6%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

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

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Apprenticeship

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Geographic Information Science and Cartography

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of mapmaking and the application of mathematical, computer, and other techniques to the science of mapping geographic information. They 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

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Geography

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of the spatial distribution and interrelationships of people, natural resources, plant and animal life. They 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 like land-use planning, development studies, and analyses of specific countries, regions, and resources.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Surveying Technology

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students 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 preparing related maps, charts and reports. They 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

Middleton, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Land Surveyor

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

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

Contacts

Professional Surveyors Canada
Ottawa, ON
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Canadian Institute of Geomatics
Ottawa, ON