Job as a Surveyor

The surveyor works with real estate agents, developers, land owners, engineers, farmers, building companies, architects, environmental groups, local governments and the city planners. Every country has its own surveying body that regulates the industry. The following main types of surveyors can be distinguished:

  • Development surveyor
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Agricultural surveyor
  • Land surveyor
  • Construction surveyor

Development surveyor Job description
There are several types of surveyors including those who are concerned with development of land and building projects. They assess the area involved and do the lay-out planning for the sites. This includes for instance the measuring of a stand or lot, and creating a chart of the slope, water pipes etc. The surveyor is responsible for the feasibility study to indicate whether a development can take place on the proposed piece of land. Apart from this the surveyor also provides important inputs on the financial aspects of the development and purchases of properties for the purpose.

The job of a surveyor requires an excellent knowledge of city planning regulations as well as environmental and governmental statutes and regulations, must be able to assist in contracts and obtaining finance. The surveyor works in close relationship with engineers, builders, estate agents, architects, financial institutions and city planners. The work hours are long from 30 to 45 hours a week. Even though you may spend a lot of your time outdoors, the position also entails office work and traveling.


  • Good interpersonal and written communication skills
  • Excellent mathematical ands measuring skills
  • Must be an organized person
  • Must be able to do long term planning
  • You should have an eye for detail
  • You should have good research and reporting skills
  • Don't get bored easily

The qualifications differs from country to country but in general you will need a higher diploma or a degree in surveyor work and development or city planning. Practical experience is essential. The subjects of the degree normally include geography, mathematics, a language, commercial and land law and business related subjects as well as project management.


Most of the land surveyors progress to project manager levels or to senior positions at their firms. Many open their own firms when they have built a large network and client base.