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Land Surveyor

Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to determine and interpret the location of boundaries, buildings, structures and other natural or human-made features on, over or under the surface of the earth.

  • Avg. Salary $78,975.00
  • Avg. Wage $38.90
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Land Surveyors (2154) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Land Surveyors (C054) 
  • 2011 NOC: Land surveyors (2154) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Land Surveyor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Land Surveyors

Interest in co-ordinating information to develop plans, methods and procedures for conducting legal surveys, and to analyze, manage and display data using geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design and drafting (CAD)


Interest in precision working with GIS, GPS, CAD and other systems and equipment to record measurements and other information and to prepare survey data, plans, charts, records and documents


Interest in supervising the preparation and compilation of data, plans, charts, records and documents; and in certifying and assuming liability for surveys

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Dec 14, 2016

Land surveyors use electronic surveying equipment including global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to survey land, water and air space. They determine or establish boundaries, or anything relative to a boundary, to identify and certify its location.

Land surveyors and their assistants determine or establish boundaries by:

  • searching for previous boundaries in existing survey records
  • searching land titles
  • searching for governing survey monuments that define boundaries
  • conducting field work and preparing plans
  • determining the accurate location of features in a project area
  • directing the activities of staff and other professionals.

The information land surveyors gather is used to determine the location, limits and boundaries of:

  • rights-of-way for utilities
  • road and highway alignments
  • well site locations
  • mining claims for resource development
  • subdivisions of land
  • houses and buildings for construction or sale.

Land surveyors are involved in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) work as well.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Land surveyors work indoors in office environments and outdoors in urban and rural environments. Some lifting (up to 10 kilograms) is required.

Surveyors who have management responsibilities spend most of their time in office environments.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Land surveyors need the following characteristics:

  • a strong aptitude for mathematics and computers
  • the ability to visualize objects, distances, sizes and other abstract forms
  • the ability to work outdoors with precise electronic surveying instruments
  • analytical and organizational skills
  • the ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • an interest in law, history and business administration
  • good communication skills.

They should enjoy:

  • taking an innovative approach to problems
  • using instruments and equipment in a precise, accurate manner
  • making decisions and co-ordinating the work of others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Land surveyors need a good understanding of mathematics, physics, earth sciences, computer programming and cartography. The most common educational qualification is a 4-year bachelor's degree in geomatics engineering.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Elsewhere in Canada, the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, offers a 3-year Bachelor of Geomatics degree program and a 4-year B.Sc. in Engineering program with a specialization in Geomatics Engineering.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Land Surveyor

Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to determine and interpret the location of boundaries, buildings, structures and other natural or human-made features on, over or under the surface of the earth.


Under Alberta's Land Surveyors Act, you must be registered with the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) to practice as or use the title Alberta Land Surveyor. If you are not registered with ALSA, you may work in this field only under the supervision, direction and control of an Alberta Land Surveyor.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of approved examinations and at least two years of articling to gain field and administrative experience. Candidates are eligible to article if they have a certificate of completion from the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS). This is obtained by (1) successfully completing a geomatics engineering program at the University of Calgary or the University of New Brunswick that includes prescribed courses or (2) successfully completing a series of qualifying examinations administered by the CBEPS. During the articling period, students must successfully complete three written examinations and three project reports. The final phase of the registration process is an oral examination that covers general survey practice and professional ethics. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the ALSA website or contact the ALSA.

Working in Alberta

Land surveyors who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered surveyors in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated land surveyors, see Land Surveyor Registration Process on the website.

Contact Details

Alberta Land Surveyors' Association  
1000, 10020 - 101A Avenue 
Edmonton, Alberta  
Canada  T5J 3G2
Phone number: 780-429-8805
Toll-free phone number: 1-800-665-2572
Fax number: 780-429-3374

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Most land surveyors are employed by surveying and geomatics firms. Some registered Alberta Land Surveyors establish their own surveying companies or become shareholders in existing ones.

In Alberta, 79% of people employed as land surveyors work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 2,100 Albertans are employed in the Land surveyors occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 40 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Please see the 2011 Professional Surveyors Canada Compensation Survey to learn more about wages for professional surveyors in Alberta. 


Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $55.83 $31.98 $27.00
Overall $18.00 $66.61 $38.90 $33.81
Top $18.00 $82.34 $48.08 $41.40

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) website:

Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS) website:

Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Dec 05, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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