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Land Surveyor

Land surveyors plan, direct, and conduct legal surveys. They determine and interpret the location of boundaries, buildings, structures, and other natural or built features. These features may be on, over, or under the surface of the earth.

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) 
  • 2016 NOC: Land surveyors (2154) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Land Surveyors
2006 NOC : 2154

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

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)

OBJECTIVE

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

DIRECTIVE

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Land surveyors use special electronic equipment to survey land, water, and air space. This equipment includes global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). They determine or establish boundaries, or anything relative to a boundary, to identify and certify its location. They also provide positioning for construction, mapping, and other activities.

Land surveyors and their assistants determine or establish boundaries by:

  • Searching for previous boundaries in existing survey records
  • Searching land titles
  • Searching for survey markers and other evidence of boundaries
  • Conducting field work and preparing plans
  • Determining the accurate location of features in a project area
  • Directing staff and other professionals

The information they gather determines the location, limits, and boundaries of:

  • Rights-of-way for utilities
  • Road and highway alignments
  • Well site locations
  • Mining claims for resource development
  • Land subdivisions
  • Houses and buildings for construction or sale

Land surveyors are often involved in geographic information systems (GIS) work.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg

Land surveyors work indoors in office settings and outdoors in urban and rural locations. Those in a management role spend most of their time in offices. They may need to lift up to 10 kilograms.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Land surveyors need:

  • Math and computer skills
  • The ability to visualize abstract forms (objects, distances, and sizes)
  • Analytical skills
  • Organization skills
  • The ability to work in a team setting
  • An interest in law, history, and business administration
  • Speaking and listening skills

They should enjoy:

  • Solving problems creatively
  • Using instruments and equipment accurately
  • Working outdoors
  • Making decisions
  • Managing the work of others
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Land surveyors need a good understanding of math, 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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

The University of New Brunswick in Fredericton offers a 3-year Bachelor of Geomatics degree. It also offers a 4-year B.Sc. in Engineering with a specialization in Geomatics Engineering. The University of Calgary, Laval University, and York University also offer accredited 4-year B.Sc. in Engineering degrees specializing in Geomatics Engineering. The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers a Bachelor of Science in Geomatics.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

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.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Land Surveyors Act [pdf], 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.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Land Surveyor.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2154: Land surveyors occupational group, 81.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2154: Land surveyors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 39 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

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

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Land surveyors

2016 NOC : 2154
Average Wage
$34.98
Per Hour
Average Salary
$70,848.00
Per Year
Average Hours
39.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.8
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2154 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.00 $47.08 $28.11 $25.00
Overall $24.68 $61.85 $34.98 $32.93
Top $30.00 $72.00 $45.59 $42.27

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

45%
45%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

22%
22%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

Vacancy Rate

1%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association (ALSA) website: www.alsa.ab.ca

Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS) website: www.acls-aatc.ca

Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS) website: www.cbeps-cceag.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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