Matching your career choice to your personality and individual style can be challenging. You may love or hate certain aspects of your job — in fact, everyone almost assuredly will — but the key is finding the position with the closest match.
Anyone with designs on becoming a land surveyor probably loves the outdoors. However, this may mean some workdays in extreme heat or cold. So being outside is fun, but not all the time.
Some land surveying jobs can include negotiating rough terrain. Surveying mines, rocky or mountainous areas, or thickly forested parcels can create challenges. If you have any mobility issues or you simply don’t like the added element of danger these types of situations can bring, you can find rewarding, challenging work in city planning projects, commercial or residential real estate transfers, or agriculture.
Although land surveying work can be somewhat solitary, good communication skills are still necessary. You generally will work with at least one partner, but communicating with the client is important too. Many clients won’t understand the technical aspects of the job, so you must be able to report to them in layman’s terms they can understand.
A LinkedIn article, in fact, stresses that good customer service is a huge part of land surveying. However, they say this should be equally balanced with the ability to do the job well and process the data correctly and on time.
Personality Traits of Good Land Surveyors
On the RPLS (registered professional land surveyor) community forum, they ask, “What qualities make for a good surveyor?” The answers include the obvious — hard worker, dependable, etc. — but also include a few specifics to think about.
Most employers value honesty in their employees. But land surveyors point out this is especially important in a field in which direct supervision is uncommon. Many land surveyors work most of their hours on location, out of sight of the boss. If they put in for more hours than they worked, no one will know. So surveying and engineering companies must be able to trust their employees.
Other qualities listed as positive included “childlike wonderment” and “curious and determined nature.” One respondent said, “Geodetic measuring is a science, surveying is an art.”
Land Surveyors & Temperament
The qualities that make a good land surveyor might be seen as the opposite of those that make a good day trader. Laser-like focus, ability to sit still in front of a computer all day, thrives on risk — none of this fits the surveying field.
Overall, many of the respondents on the survey say that what makes a good land surveyor is their ability to get the job done while being practical. Many complain about the highly educated architects and engineers in their office towers creating plans that just won’t work in the real world because they so rarely get out into it.
Land surveyors are out on the ground, every day, and if they understand their job and they love it, they will be successful.
Professional Development Hours for Land Surveyors
Land surveying is a dynamic field. That’s why it’s necessary to complete professional development hours to keep your license active. PDH Academy offers more than a dozen professional development courses for land surveyors. Check out our PDH approved courses.