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What is it like working for a land surveying company?

Interested in geomatics, data, and the great outdoors? You might find a rewarding career in working for a land surveying company. At Landform Surveys, we offer training and a flexible career path to those looking to work in the land surveying industry.

What is land surveying?

Land surveying (sometimes referred to as geomatics surveying) involves measuring, collecting, and interpreting data about areas of land. As a land surveyor, you’ll also be expected to collect and present information on buildings, boundaries, and both man-made and natural features.

What does the job involve?

Working for a land surveying company is often an attractive job for many reasons, but mainly because it tends to be varied. You might be asked to work on a redevelopment project, a railway repair, or even an archaeological dig.

Your responsibilities are numerous and varied, but if you choose to work for a land surveying company they will likely train you in the specific methods used by their surveyors. You might find yourself being asked to advise on technical matters and veto construction plans, as well as present data and written reports to clients.
You’ll also undertake a variety of surveys, including:

  • Land surveys
  • Topographic surveys
  • Hydrographic surveys
  • Measured building surveys

For these, you’ll use specialised equipment such as robotics and 3D laser scanners – working for a land surveying company is a fantastic opportunity for technologically minded individuals to get to grips with some of the latest and most competent equipment.

Land surveyors are also required to analyse data using many different types of sources, including maps, charts, plans, and software such as AutoCAD and GIS (geographic information system) programmes.

You’ll be able to tell that working for a land surveying company is neither concentrated wholly outdoors nor confined completely to an office. The working environment comprises a mix of the two, and you might find yourself being asked to work shifts outside the realm of a typical 9-5, especially if the project is taking place on an operational stretch of railway or road.

Working for a land surveying company will also involve travelling to work sites, and you might be expected to stay away from home until the project is completed.

Who can I expect to work for?

Of course, you could work for a specialist land surveying company. At Landform Surveys, we provide expert training and a career path to maximise your personal growth. Our recent expansion also means we’re on the lookout for new members of staff. Get in touch if you think you could bring something to the team!
With a land surveying, geomatics, or related qualification (or equivalent training), you could also consider working for:

  • The Government (local and central)
  • Mining companies
  • Utilities companies
  • Rail companies
  • Civil engineering and construction companies (either directly or as a contractor or consultant)

You will quickly find that land surveying is a specialist career and opportunities are fairly widespread. You can contact companies directly, or research opportunities using:

  • TARGETjobs
  • The Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

What should I study?

Good news! You can enter a career in land surveying as a school leaver or a university graduate – the choice is completely up to you and will depend on the style of study you prefer, as well as the initial career path you want to take.

As a school leaver (age 16 for post-GCSE opportunities such as L3 apprenticeships, and age 18 for post L3 opportunities like higher apprenticeships and entry-level roles) you have a wealth of options at your disposal.

Level 3 apprenticeships are suited to anyone aged 16 and over, and will often ask for little more than decent GCSE’s and the drive to succeed in your chosen course. You’ll be provided with on-the-job training and will also be expected to complete a college-based module, which will go towards your overall qualification.

Some training providers ask that apprentices have one learning day a week, while others do week-long stints every few months. This will vary, so make sure your potential employer is on board with the word/study arrangement.

Geomatics and surveying apprenticeships can start at entry level and progress to beyond degree level. Often, working and studying for the same land surveying company can offer a more predictable career path and a consistent learning environment.

If you want to take a geomatics related course at university, it may be useful to know that many graduate land surveyors actually studied one of a variety of courses, and then hopped onto a graduate scheme. You might want to consider studying:

  • Geomatics
  • Geospatial Sciences
  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Geotechnology
  • Earth Sciences
  • Civil Engineering
  • Planning
  • Surveying
  • Construction

You may find that the land surveying company you want to work for favours degrees accredited by a relevant professional body (such as RICS, ICE, or ICES).

Graduate schemes in this field are also often advertised as individual opportunities, and you may have to apply speculatively. It’s worth doing some research into how you can optimise the chances of a speculative application.

What skills are required to work for a land surveying company?
At Landform Surveys, we pride ourselves on the adaptability and expertise of our surveyors. However, all land surveying jobs require a broad skillset. You will benefit from developing the following skills (either on the job or beforehand):

  • Numerical literacy
  • Data interpretation
  • Logical and lateral thinking
  • Technological confidence
  • Problem solving and analysis
  • Customer service and client management
  • Excellent written communication
  • Initiative and the ability to work well in a team

Work for Landform Surveys

Working for a land surveying company like Landform Surveys could result in a hugely rewarding career. Think you could bring something to the team? Get in touch today.