Land surveyors (NOC 2154)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

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. They also prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to legal surveys.

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Land surveyors may be self-employed or work for:

  • federal, provincial and municipal governments
  • private sector land surveying companies
  • real estate development firms
  • natural resource companies
  • engineering firms
  • construction companies
Common job titles
  • 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