12 Popular Surveying Careers (With Salary Info And Duties)

Updated 29 December 2022

Surveyors play a critical role in designing and constructing buildings and other public infrastructure. There are many surveying jobs and related professions that surveying professionals can consider viable career options. Learning about these job roles can help you make an informed decision as per your skills and career goals. In this article, we discuss 12 surveying careers and share their average salary and primary responsibilities.

Related: What Does A Surveyor Do? Skills And How To Become One

12 Popular Surveying Careers

Here are 12 popular surveying careers for you to consider:

1. Drafter

National average salary: ₹18,648 per month

Primary duties: A drafter creates drawings and maps for civil engineering projects, such as the construction of bridges, motorways and pipe systems. Drafters often work in an office setting, where they use computer software to design maps and make reports. They may sometimes visit the construction sites to observe the space and land available. During the design process, they may collaborate with engineers and other technical professionals, such as construction workers and architects. By pursuing the right certifications, surveyors who have a passion for design and strong attention to detail can work as drafters.

2. GIS Analyst

National average salary: ₹23,325 per month

Primary duties: A geographic information system or GIS analyst utilises mapping software to analyse spatial data and create digital maps that include geographic data. They require strong data analysis, computer programming and map-making skills. An analyst uses complex data to make judgments about the usage of land. They are also usually responsible for doing fieldwork and conducting data analysis. GIS analysts understand how to construct databases, utilise mapping tools and use global positioning systems or GPS devices. Surveyors with a strong analytical mindset can complete the required educational programmes and training to become GIS analysts.

Related: How To Write A GIS Analyst Resume: A Step-By-Step Guide

3. Urban Planner

National average salary: ₹39,724 per month

Primary duties: An urban planner develops plans and designs for optimum land utilisation in cities and towns. They assess community requirements to set both short-and-long-term goals for developing, growing and revitalising urban areas. Urban planners also usually assist communities in managing economic, social and environmental challenges that arise when a region expands or changes rapidly. For example, they may supervise the construction of new public infrastructures like parks or new residential or commercial hubs. Surveyors with relevant experience working in urban infrastructure projects can get the required certifications to become urban planners and designers.

Related: What Is An Urban Planner? Definition And Career Advice

4. Civil Engineer

National average salary: ₹22,700 per month

Primary duties: Civil engineers are in charge of the planning, designing and administering of large-scale construction projects. They typically oversee the construction of bridges, buildings, transportation infrastructure and other public construction projects. They create project designs using computer modelling tools and data gathered through surveys, testing and geographic information.

These plans serve as a reference for contractors and help build safe, compliant and durable structures. Some civil engineers work for government organisations, while others may work for consulting and construction companies that provide services to both private and public sector organisations. Most civil engineers have specialised Bachelor of Technology degrees. So, surveyors can pursue diploma courses or distance learning degree programmes to obtain the relevant skills, knowledge and certifications to become civil engineers.

Related: Architect Vs. Civil Engineer: What Is The Difference?

5. Land Surveyor

National average salary: ₹19,182 per month

Primary duties: A land surveyor is responsible for determining the boundaries of properties and plots of land. When doing a land survey, a surveyor typically studies the area's history. They usually visit and walk out into the field to see evidence of the property's previous occupants.

Land surveyors perform several activities to ensure legal compliance, such as revising boundary lines and preparing building sites as per allotted land records. They survey the land by walking in the fields and looking for existing borders and terrains. In most cases, companies consider the maps and designs provided by a land surveyor as legally binding.

6. Crew Supervisor

National average salary: ₹32,932 per month

Primary duties: Crew supervisors are responsible for overseeing the completion of construction projects and monitoring the activities taking place on project sites. The crew supervisor usually ensures that the project follows all necessary safety regulations and meets its deadline. In addition, they may also help create contracts, communicate with suppliers and subcontractors and conduct a variety of administrative duties.

As a part of their general duties, crew supervisors monitor building progress, inspect raw materials, place orders, manage the on-site workforce and report to clients. While there is no specific certification that surveyors can complete to work as crew supervisors, they require comprehensive knowledge of construction management and techniques to assume this role.

Related: Civil Engineering Careers You Can Pursue As A Graduate

7. Geographer

National average salary: ₹32,808 per month

Primary duties: Geographers study the cultural and physical geography of places to document their natural features. They utilise geographic information systems (GIS) data to discover global correlations and trends. These tools enable geographers to show data in various formats, including maps, reports and charts. Geographers usually offer suggestions to governments, companies and the general public on various topics, including housing, roads, landfills, and disaster preparedness. They generally employ various methods to study locations, including field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imaging and censuses. Surveyors interested in this role can earn the required qualifications to develop relevant skills and gain knowledge.

8. Architect

National average salary: ₹23,611 per month

Primary duties: An architect is a highly trained expert responsible for designing the layout of new structures. To ensure the safety of the residents, architects can operate only as licenced professionals that follow strict compliance guidelines. Architects handle more than just the artistic aspects of design. They may also help constriction companies market their properties, manage clients, seek approvals, prepare budgets, source raw materials and coordinate with contractors. Surveyors who wish to become architects require completing a Bachelor of Architecture degree programme from a recognised university.

Related: How To Become An Architect (Career Steps And FAQs)

9. Site Engineer

National average salary: ₹19,367 per month

Primary duties: A site engineer manages different phases of construction projects by supervising crew members, preparing estimates for time and material costs and ensuring quality assurance. They also usually implement health and safety standards and compile reports for different stakeholders. A site engineer may also place orders, provide technical advice, manage the construction workforce and collaborate with architects and designers. They are typically the ones to diagnose and troubleshoot challenges during the construction process. Surveys who have experience working at construction sites can get the required skills and knowledge to start working as site engineers and supervisors.

Related: What Is Site Engineering? (With Duties, Skills and Salary)

10. Party Chief

National average salary: ₹85,782 per month

Primary duties: The party chief generally oversees the activities of the field survey teams. They develop and assess proposed field survey projects and coordinate the field design survey work with other construction activities. They usually participate in pre-survey planning meetings with project managers, resident engineers and contractor representatives. In the absence of a supervisor, they may also serve as a land surveyor, conducting tasks like staking, boundary control, horizontal and vertical controls, hydrographic, topographic and environmental surveys. Surveyors with adequate leadership experience, specialisation and knowledge can apply for the role of party chiefs.

11. Cartographer

National average salary: ₹50,636 per month

Primary duties: A cartographer creates maps to express areas and locations spatially. Cartography involves using science, technology and art to make specialised maps that convey geographical data. These maps help the government monitor environmental conditions, prepare for extreme weather conditions and plan the expansion of cities. Cartographers provide data about a region's demographics and population density through digital or printed maps. They also usually provide additional information about a site using visual aids. Surveyors can complete the required cartography certifications or courses to become eligible to apply for their desired employment opportunities.

12. Landscape Architect

National average salary: ₹29,665 per month

Primary duties: A landscape architect is a professional who plans and implements the aesthetics of public and private spaces. They usually work with architectural firms or offer their services on a freelance basis. Landscape artists create models that balance elements like trees, buildings, roads, pathways and water bodies in cities. They may also become involved in environmental issues by developing conservation areas, such as wetland areas and helping to restore historical sites. Landscape architects work with urban planners to formulate large-scale designs of city blocks and sectors. Surveyors can earn the required qualifications to start working as landscape artists.

Related: 40 Common Surveyor Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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