Land surveyors (NOC 2154)

About this job

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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


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.

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