How Do I Become a Cargo Surveyor?

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  • Written By: L.K. Blackburn
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 23 February 2020
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You can become a cargo surveyor by qualifying and applying for a job with the government, military, or a private cargo inspection service. Qualifications needed to become a cargo surveyor include a high school education, but the completion of a two or four year college degree program is preferred. Government based cargo inspection jobs may prefer applicants to possess some type of criminal justice background or education. Cargo surveyor jobs within the military carry their own set of qualifications and training, as they require you to join the military for a contracted period of time.

Surveying cargo for the government or military is a job that requires you to board boats, trains, and trucks to inspect the contents that are shipped to ensure they meet any necessary regional regulations. Private cargo surveying companies are hired by businesses to check shipped contents to verify that everything listed and paid for is included. Large amounts of goods are shipped over land and sea routes domestically and internationally everyday. Each piece of cargo has the chance of being inspected by a surveyor, both for accuracy and for liability reasons. Companies that pay to ship goods from point to point may never actually see the end product before it is sold off, so they rely on cargo surveying companies to provide them with shipping inspection services along the way.


Some jobs may require experience working in the field to become a cargo surveyor. You can begin a cargo inspection career by looking for an entry level position with the government or a private company. Government based cargo inspection jobs are usually found working for regional police departments, port authorities, transportation departments, and rail stations. A criminal justice background can provide you with an advantage in the application process to become a government cargo surveyor because the job requires boarding ships and trucks to look for contraband and unauthorized shipments.

The military uses cargo surveyors to check ships and trucks in both domestic and overseas operations. Surveyors working for the military inspect boats and vehicles for illegal weapons, immigration, and general contents verification. You can become a cargo surveyor for the military by following traditional regional enlistment standards and qualifications, followed by requesting the specific position or job rating. Military experience is a good way to become a cargo surveyor because it provides you with several years of experience working directly in the same type of tasks needed to perform job duties.


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