Land surveyor: all you need to know now

a land surveyor moving pins on a map

In this article we explain everything that you need to know about land surveyor. Including what it is, courses, what they do and jobs. Let’s look at what a land surveyor is. 

What is a land surveyor

A land surveyor is a person who surveys land to find boundaries, monuments, points, and corners. This is based upon measurements, historic documents and present standards of practice. A land surveyor is also a person who does land surveys or does land surveying. 

It is also a person that measures land for construction purposes or for the purpose of mapping the land and writing up legal documents to describe the property and who holds the legal rights to it. 

One of the primary roles or purposes of a land surveyor is to find the boundaries of a person’s property. This is done with the help of measurements and studying of legal documents describing the boundaries. A land surveyor will then mark the boundaries of the land.

Land Survey Meaning

Land Surveying is the science and art of establishing and reestablishing corners, boundaries, lines, and monuments of real land based on recorded documents, present standards of practice, and historical evidence.

What does a land surveyor do

Surveyors measure land and determine boundary lines so that legal disputes can be prevented. Additionally, they provide data relevant to the contour and shape of the earth for construction purposes, boundaries and engineering. 

Here is a list of services that a land surveyor can offer to clients: 

  • New and existing power line surveys and negotiations
  • Road, pipeline and railway lines staking
  • Tacky surveys
  • Surveying of airports: landing strips and fixing longitudes and latitudes
  • High precision surveys
  • Photogrammetric and lidar surveys
  • Construction and engineering surveys
  • Mine surveys for quantities, planning and design purposes
  • Construction supervision
  • Registration work for townships
  • Subdivision of land
  • Consolidation
  • Servitude and lease area diagrams
  • Sectional titles: survey and plans
  • Mineral diagrams
  • Way leave applications

We know that this list is very long. However, it is meant to be a comprehensive list of services that land surveyors can offer. 

Land surveyor courses

Various tertiary institutions have courses available that will help you on your journey to become a land surveyor. There are 3 areas in which you can study in the survey field. These are land and engineer surveying, mine surveying, and geo-information science. We will list all the institutions with who you can study in each below. 

Land and engineer surveying

  • University of Kwazulu-Natal has a course to qualify as a professional land surveyor. 
  • The university of Cape Town has a B.Sc Geomatics degree
  • Cape Peninsula University of technology can train you as a survey technician, surveyor/technologist, or professional engineering surveyor. 
  • Mangosuthu University of Technology can train you as a survey technician or a surveyor / technologist. 
  • Durban university of technology has a ND: surveying and B.Tech surveying course. 
  • Tshwane university of technology also has ND surveying and surveying courses that you can attend to qualify. 

Mine surveying

There are only 2 universities that have courses in the field of mine surveying. The university of Johannesburg has in ND: Minerals surveying which will qualify you as a mine survey technician or a mine surveyor. They also have a B.Tech Mineral resource management which will qualify you as a mine survey technician. 

Additionally, UNISA has a ND: mine surveying course that will qualify you as a mine surveyor. 

Geo-Information science

There are 5 tertiary institutions that have degrees in geo-information science. These are the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch university, university of Pretoria, Cape peninsula university of technology, and esri South Africa. 

At each of these institutions you may study a degree that will get you closer to entering the surveying field. However, you will also need to do practical training as a registered surveyor. 

Land surveyor salary

According to Payscale, a professional surveyor can earn from around R158 000 per year to around R1 million per year. The pay that you will receive depends on the experience you have, as well as how well and fast you work. You will start off on the low end of the scale and slowly increase your salary as you gain experience and extra training. 

People also ask

Do land surveyors make good money?

Yes, land surveyors have a valuable skill that is in high demand in South Africa and are well compensated for it.