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Any professional surveryors on this board?

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posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 03:39 AM
I'm looking for some type of career that has the potential to be interesting and has a variety in it's day to day operations and surveying seems to fit the bill. I was wondering how physical the job is and what kind of wear does it put on the body (knees, back especially). Hours are kind of important especially if jobs can be taken on a contract basis and the done on on the surveyors schedule (but by a deadline, not whenever they get to it). I see that average salary can range from about 54K to over 120K per year, depending on where you live. Is there the opportunity to make more if you manage a number of surveyors or something?

I'd be interested in any experiences people have had with them as well.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 05:46 AM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

If you can get on as a pipeline surveyor, do it.

You’ll make a lot more than being just a regular land surveyor. It’s not that hard of a job, if you know a little math and critical thinking, and your party chief likes you, you can move up from a Rodman to a instrument operator fairly quickly.

Yes, it is a physical job. Probing for existing pipelines on a proposed route was always fun. That’s where you take a metal rod and shove it into the ground until you hit pipe, then record the depth.

A lot of where you will be working will be woods. You’ll be cutting a lot of line. Swinging a brushook quite a bit. Hot, cold, sunny whatever you’ll be out in the elements. If it’s raining real bad you won’t do much.

I loved surveying actually. It was a great job for me.
Getting sick took all of that away. I can’t go back to carrying all of that equipment through the woods and swinging a brush ax all day like I once did.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 08:37 AM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I worked as a surveyor for a couple of years back in the late 70's early 80's (I'm not a Registered Land Surveyor (RLS)).

We worked surveying several major pipelines across the western United States. It was an awesome job! I loved it, and even thought about getting into it as a career. But life happens, and things changed. I still look back on it very fondly though.

One thing I will say is surveying today is dramatically different from what it used to be, especially given differential GPS (and GIS). It's a whole different ball game now. When I was doing it we still had to blaze across country where there were no roads to set "Line" and "Level". So, my experience of what it was like might be dated. ...

Basically, when we were near the home office we would leave the office each day before sunrise and travel to where we left off the day before (very remote locations in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado). We would travel in a convoy of 2-3 4x4 survey trucks (words of wisdom...NEVER buy a used survey truck!!!). We would usually travel anywhere from 60-180 miles one way to get on location. Well, we'd get as close to the location as we could with the trucks (often getting stuck, and having to extract ourselves). Then we'd hike from there to where we needed to be for that day.

Some of the terrain was very technical and often steep. The hiking was often pretty difficult and rugged with all the gear you had to carry. I loved it though. You were always outside, rain or shine, all day. In a lot of cases you were miles away from your truck so you just had to deal with whatever came your way. We would usually try to put in as many hours on location as we could (usually about 9-12). Daylight was usually the limiting factor. Then, depending on how far you drove to get there, we'd either head to the nearest town with a motel, or four-wheel it back to the office.

The great part about the job was you were outside every day, you got to see things very few other people have ever seen. I always like the technical climbing part of it with all the ropes, harnesses and gear. Some of the wildlife stories I have from those days are pretty crazy (i.e. getting chased and attacked by wild horses was a big one). All in all it was a GREAT experience, and you developed a bond with the rest of your crew like no other working relationship. It was hard sometimes, but it was always worth it.

RLS's made pretty good money, but for the most part (as I recall) I don't think a fella would ever get financially rich doing it. Life experiences, on the other hand, you would be wealthy beyond imagination. At the time, getting an RLS certificate was a pretty big deal, and not very easy at all requiring years of surveying. Most times we'd just go out with Crew Chiefs, many of whom were understudies to the company RLS's. You didn't always have an RLS with you, they mostly sat in the office. The field work was the best from my perspective.

If I had it to do all over again, I think I might go into surveying as a career, but you have to remember not all survey jobs were cool like that. Sometimes you'd get stuck laying out a subdivision for a housing plot which was tedious, boring and generally sucked. But when you got out on the big survey jobs (which is mostly what we did) it was an awesome job!

The company I worked for had two kinds of crews, we had 'home' crews and 'away/traveling' crews. I was on an 'away team" as we called it (think: Star Trek, LOL!). The only down side to being on an 'away' crew was you never really knew how long you'd be gone (i.e. could be a day or so, could be a week or longer).

Lot of good memories surveying.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 09:48 AM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof


You're either the guy holding the pole or the guy looking through a spy glass and taking measurements. Of course that's a really dumbed down description but it's seriously not complicated. The most labor I've ever had to deal with was carrying the equipment which is pretty minor, considering it can fit in a medium pelican box and it's not really heavy at all.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 03:58 PM
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I suspect that tech and GPS makes the surveying job waaaay easier (and probably more accurate, too) than in previous years.

I know that the surveyors stuffed up our property lines and put a road onto the wrong side of the boundary. Still, it's probably not worth the angst of getting them to fix things (but perhaps I should charge a toll, lol

BTW I'm not, nor ever have been, a surveyor, but if you do decide to be one, do it well.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 04:11 PM
Yes, t's all m monotony and detail bff s

But there's two stages to that career....field engineer and then office engineer.....

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 04:51 PM
Absolutely the GPS works great for taking shots.....

When it works.

You’re going to have to learn the gun. You will have to use it at some point so best to learn as much about it as soon as you can.

If you’re profiling a proposed route and the Right of ways on each side most of the time you’re in some pretty thick woods. There’s something about pine trees that the GPS signal hates and will refuse to fix no matter what. Or you’re following an existing route but they might have power lines overhead or something else thatnwont let you get a fix on your GPS. I know it’s different if you’re somewhere like North Dakota where it’s open and the land plots are all perfect squares. I surveyed in east Texas, where nobody has a square piece of property lol. Seriously once we profiled corners on one guys land who had 22 corners on it. Some of the things I’ve seen used for property corners are pretty interesting. Everything from old car axles to cast iron tea pots.

If you can hold a bubble level you can be a Rodman though.

posted on Dec, 16 2018 @ 04:57 PM
a reply to: chr0naut

I know that the surveyors stuffed up our property lines and put a road onto the wrong side of the boundary. Still, it's probably not worth the angst of getting them to fix things (but perhaps I should charge a toll, lol

LOL let it build up even more, compounding interest from "date of infraction"....send them a bill and litigate closer to your retirement. There's your lump sum pension...

posted on Dec, 17 2018 @ 10:42 AM
I'm an RCE but in my state can sign as PLS, a few years back I told my oldest son to go for electronics engineering, that's where the $$$ is, so far he's going to make more $$$ than his old man in 3 years....just my 2 cents


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