What they do

A surveyor collects and measures spatial information about the land and environment, including natural and constructed features such as open pit mines, coastlines, marine floors and underground works.

This information can then be used by geographic information science specialists and cartographers to analyse and model the data, construct maps, plans, files, charts and reports.

Working conditions

Surveyors can work on, above or below the surface of the land or sea, and often work with other professionals. They often work in multidisciplinary teams, and often outdoors, travelling extensively throughout Australia and overseas. In Western Australia, surveyors are often employed in fly in-fly out (FIFO) positions, basing themselves in Perth and flying to a mine site.

The role is usually a full-time position, Monday to Friday, however this might vary when working on site.

Tools and technologies

Surveyors use a range of sophisticated surveying equipment and software, including Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD), theodolites (for measuring horizontal and vertical angles) and land levels.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a surveyor, you usually need to study a degree in surveying.

Curtin University offers a three-year Bachelor of Science (Mine and Engineering Surveying) and a four-year Bachelor of Surveying. These are the only undergraduate degrees specialising in surveying in Western Australia. Contact the university for more information.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a registered and/or licensed land or cadastral surveyor in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Competency from the Land Surveyors Licensing Board of Western Australia.