Land surveyors (NOC 2154)

About this job

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Source: WorkBC’s Career Trek

Land surveyors:

  • plan, direct and carry out legal surveys to establish the location of real property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features
  • prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to legal surveys
  • work for federal, provincial and municipal governments; private sector land surveying establishments; real estate development, natural resource, engineering and construction firms; or they may be self-employed
Common job titles
  • surveyor, cadastral
  • surveyor, legal
  • surveyor, cadastral
  • surveyor, legal


Annual provincial median salary


Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

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Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report


Land surveyors perform some or all of the following duties:

  • develop survey plans, methods and procedures for conducting legal surveys
  • plan, direct and oversee surveys to establish and mark legal boundaries of properties, parcels of lands, provincial and Canada Lands, aboriginal land claims, well-sites, mining claims, utility rights-of-way, roadways and highways
  • survey and lay out subdivisions for rural and urban development
  • determine exact locations using electronic distance measuring equipment and global positioning systems (GPS)
  • analyze, manage and display data using geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design and drafting (CAD)
  • record all measurements and other information obtained during survey activities
  • prepare or oversee the preparation and compilation of all data, plans, charts, records and documents related to surveys of real property boundaries
  • approve and be responsible for surveys made to establish real property boundaries
  • advise, provide consultation and testify as an expert witness on matters related to legal surveys

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in a structured environment, such as an office, or an outdoor work environment where the worker is exposed to various weather conditions.

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

As of July 1, 2017 when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) came into force, you will not need significant additional training, experience, testing or assessment if your qualifications or certificates are recognized by a Canadian regulatory authority. This applies whether you were trained in Canada or internationally. Learn about labour mobility at For information about labour mobility and foreign qualifications recognition, contact the B.C. regulator for your occupation.

  • A bachelor's degree in geomatics engineering or survey engineering
    A college diploma in survey science or geomatics technology with additional academic credits and successful completion of equivalent examinations set by a regional board of examiners for land surveyors is required.
  • A one- to three-year articling period is required.
  • Successful completion of professional land surveyor examinations is required.
  • A federal or provincial land surveyor's licence is required.


  • Directive
  • Innovative
  • Numerical Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Spatial Perception
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Surveying and Mapping

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
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Mainland / Southwest
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North Coast & Nechako
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Vancouver Island / Coast
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N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Federal statutes require a separate license from the Association of Canada Land Surveyors to survey areas such as national parks, aboriginal lands, offshore areas and northern territories.

Additional resources