Profession Surveyor

Knowing the features of the work of a surveyor, what he does according to the job description, will allow you to decide whether it is worth mastering such a specialization or not. It will be necessary to study the specifics of surveyors-topographers and other areas of this profession. It is not out of place, finally, to pay attention to salaries and training.


Since ancient times, people have been building, traveling, transporting goods — but all this, as well as many other things, could not be done without mapping the area. That is why the history of the profession of a surveyor goes back to time immemorial. It is known for sure that already in antiquity, and even earlier, in the great civilizations of antiquity, it was impossible to do without maps and plans. In subsequent centuries, the need for land surveying only grew, and people who own it were in demand in all states.

But the importance of geodetic activity especially increased with the beginning of the industrial revolution. Already designing railways with the help of ancient tools proved impossible. Later, when the scale of economic activity increased from the end of the 19th century, when there were many more linear structures, the level of technical equipment in geodesy increased dramatically. Both the prestige of the specialists employed in it and the relative level of wages have increased. It is quite difficult to work as a surveyor, this activity is relatively of the same type — but on the other hand, almost everything that is created by man will also have your contribution.

A real surveyor is a specialist of a fairly broad profile. A large part of his work takes place on the ground, where he has to mark and measure many different objects and objects, measure distances. Then, in the office environment, all these data are summarized and become the basis for computational and cartographic models. Neither the commissioning of a new land plot, nor the construction of an apartment building or a road, nor even the preparation of master plans for the development of the area, are unthinkable without geodetic work.

Mathematical calculations play a very important role in the profession — nothing can be done without them.

Differences from a cadastral engineer and a mine surveyor

These three professions are often confused with each other — and in fact, they overlap in many ways. A cadastral engineer works in exactly the same way as a surveyor. However, he prepares various maps and plans, official documents reflecting the boundaries of land plots, and other materials necessary for the state land cadastre. A simple surveyor does not have such powers, since they still require knowledge of many legal and even economic subtleties. On the other hand, a cadastral engineer will not be able, for example, to control the progress of construction and the execution of land management documentation in its process.

The mine surveyor is a professional of an even higher level. Much of his work goes underground, which creates additional risks. Even if these risks are only potential, working conditions are much harder. We will have to further study information about groundwater and minerals. Yes, and general geology in mine surveying is much more significant.

Pros and cons

It is worth pointing out right away that the demand for and prospects of the geodetic profession is undeniable. People will mark the land and delimit plots for many hundreds and thousands of years; even with the disappearance of the institution of property in any country, practical considerations will not disappear anywhere.

The income of modern «land surveyors» is very high compared to the average salaries in the economy. Any sane leader understands that no serious project will move forward without surveyors.

However, you need to understand that:

  • it can be difficult to work purely in the physical plane;
  • you will have to forget about the rationing of the working day;
  • you will need to spend a lot of time outdoors, regardless of the weather;
  • often need to go on business trips for a long time;
  • iron health will be a mandatory requirement;
  • measurements on the ground sometimes require covering tens of kilometers — and even in hard-to-reach sparsely populated areas.

Job description


An employee in the position of a surveyor is primarily engaged in a complex set of measuring work. At the same time, he must comply with a number of requirements — in terms of accuracy, urgency, and the volume of measurements. You also have to produce:

  • marking work on the ground;
  • control of possible violations at the facilities;
  • checking the deformation of buildings and structures based on the results of measurements;
  • executive survey of structures and open parts of underground facilities;
  • observation of geodesic signs and the accuracy of their placement.

Anyone who does all this must know:

  • legislation and local regulations in terms of environmental protection;
  • norms for the use of natural resources;
  • methodological standards for carrying out work, including remote sensing;
  • nuances of the production of geodetic works in a particular area;
  • basic instructions and instructions of the management;
  • features of tools and equipment;
  • verification and adjustment standards;
  • documentation rules;
  • order of drawing up maps and plans.

The chief surveyor manages the entire geodetic service of an organization or enterprise.

It is he who controls the execution of specific works and adherence to their established schedule. He should also supervise the maintenance of field documentation and the preparation of reports on the work done. It is with the sanction of the chief surveyor and by his direct order that only new methods and ways of working, new types of equipment can be introduced. Finally, it is he who gives orders and distributes responsibilities on a particular expedition or business trip.

As for the leading surveyors, they:

  • personally perform work packages;
  • accept tasks from customers and clarify the nuances;
  • control the movement and deformation of various structures in the course of work;
  • notify managers of all dangerous and emergency situations;
  • present the objects of inspection to the control commissions;
  • comply with the established orders, including those regarding work schedules.


This specialist, according to the professional standard and job descriptions, is obliged to do a lot — therefore, his powers are also very wide. In particular, they include the requirement for optimal working conditions — including in hard-to-reach areas. Accommodation, food, equipment and equipment should normally be provided and provided by the employer. Also the privileges of surveyors are:

  • formation of proposals on how to improve work in their field;
  • obtaining access to information required for the performance of work;
  • approval of documents or refusal to leave a signature;
  • familiarization with draft orders and orders on their activities;
  • receiving additional payments when working on an irregular schedule.

A responsibility

The surveyor and topographer must be responsible in the event of:

  • violations of administrative or criminal norms;
  • disclosure of confidential information;
  • failure to fulfill obligations under employment contracts and job descriptions (within the provisions of the Labor Code);
  • causing material and moral damage to the employer and other persons, organizations.


The specialty «geodesy» requires higher technical education. The necessary training is carried out either in colleges or in higher educational institutions. Since this profession belongs to the technical category, the answer, which subjects to take, is quite obvious. Relevant knowledge of mathematics, geography and physics. Almost any educational institution also requires basic knowledge in the field of geology.

The training itself involves the development of:

  • regulatory requirements;
  • GOST in the field of construction;
  • building codes and regulations;
  • specialized software packages.

The applied part of the training involves the development of work on specialized equipment. Along with tachometers and levels, you will also have to master the skills of manipulating GPS receivers. Average special training takes 3-3.5 years. Higher geodetic education is obtained in 4.5-6 years.

It must be understood that the average level allows you to apply for a maximum position of assistant surveyor, and you can become a real specialist only at an institute or university.

For future specialists, training profiles are suitable:

  • «Cartography»;
  • «Geodesy and remote sensing»;
  • «Cartography and geoinformatics»;
  • «Applied Geodesy».

Required training is provided by:

  • Moscow State University for Land Management;
  • RUDN;
  • Russian Agrarian University;
  • Moscow State University;
  • College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Moscow;
  • St. Petersburg State University;
  • Mining University of St. Petersburg.

Outside the two capitals, training is carried out in:

  • State University of Kalmykia;
  • UrFU;
  • Saratov Research University;
  • Polytechnic University of Tomsk;
  • Bashkir State University;
  • Pacific State University;
  • Technical University of Voronezh.

Refresher courses are organized in special educational institutions or at construction companies. In some cases, they are sent for retraining abroad. Admission to work is possible only after passing certification.

Details about it can be found directly in any organization where they come to get a job. You can usually contact the training center in your area.

Place of work

The vast majority of specialists in the field of geodesy work in construction organizations. They are attracted when it comes to building anything:

  • private house;
  • residential complex;
  • industrial enterprise;
  • transport object;
  • power plants;
  • distribution networks;
  • trade and educational institutions.

But without geodesy it is impossible to determine the boundaries, individual parts of the land. No wonder surveyors after a little retraining can become cadastral engineers. Professionals have to not only travel «through towns and villages». Quite often you need to go to the mountains and deserts, forests and tundra for a variety of purposes. Even if an object has already been built somewhere, geodetic control allows you to make sure that everything is in order with it.

The military surveyor serves mainly in artillery and missile units. If necessary, the effectiveness of military operations, or rather, the use of powerful weapons, largely depends on him. Since the need to fight, alas, can arise almost everywhere and in any area suddenly, you have to constantly update information about a variety of areas. To do this, with a certain frequency, they recheck the previous measurements, maps and plans throughout the country.

Military specialists have at their disposal a wide variety of equipment, including very complex ones, but in the foreseeable future one cannot do without foot crossings and personal inspections.

How much does he get?

The average salary of surveyors in Russia is 53,000 rubles. It is directly affected by the place of residence and the demand for this specialization. The better the economic situation in the region, the higher the income. Bonuses are based on seniority and work experience.

The shift method allows you to significantly increase pay compared to work in your region, and in remote places and in the zone of environmental or other risk, the vacation will be longer by several days.

In Moscow and its environs, the average salary reaches 50,000 rubles. In the northern capital, the rate will be 45,000. In Udmurtia, surveyors are ready to pay up to 90,000. In Tyva, the usual payment reaches 80,000. Professionals without experience can count on income no more than:

  • 40 thousand rubles in the capital;
  • 32 thousand in St. Petersburg;
  • 20 thousand in Voronezh.

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