How Do I Get a Surveyor Apprenticeship?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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Surveyor apprenticeships might be offered by trade organizations in the engineering field or unions overseeing the profession. People seeking a surveying career might also check pubic and private agencies providing internships on a regional basis. Some private foundations advertise surveyor internships to qualified applicants. Completing adult education or community college courses related to the industry typically helps when applying for a surveyor apprenticeship.

Training programs offered by trade groups aim to educate apprentices and produce qualified surveyors in the industry. These programs vary in length and requirements for acceptance. Apprenticeships sponsored by trade organizations typically combine classroom study with hands-on work in the field. Some of these opportunities provide a salary, along with health benefits and vacation time.

Classroom work typically includes instruction on the tools used in surveying, including the proper way to stake property and leveling methods. Basic surveying principles using mathematics represent another course usually taken during surveyor apprenticeships. The student typically learns first aid and instruction on writing data reports describing the land measured.

After a surveyor apprenticeship, the student usually becomes certified as a skilled worker in the industry. Certification might qualify the student for surveying boundaries, hydrology projects, and topographic mapping. Job opportunities might also be available on mining projects, tunnels, pipelines, and high-rise buildings.


Surveyors work for private construction companies developing residential or commercial projects. Some government agencies also hire surveyors for public works jobs, such as roads. A student who completes a surveyor apprenticeship might choose to start his or her own business, catering to insurance companies or financial institutions that need these services.

These skilled workers use geometry and algebra to measure distances and boundaries. They typically use global positioning satellite devices to obtain an accurate measurement of surface land. Accuracy is vital when determining property lines records for deeds and other legal documents. Information gathered by surveyors commonly appears as the legal description of land and on topographic maps.

Requirements to gain a surveyor apprenticeship vary by organization and region. Some agencies accept apprentices as young as 16, but others require adult status. Educational levels also differ, depending on the agency offering the apprenticeship. In some areas, private nonprofit organizations might offer opportunities for students from low-income neighborhoods, providing mentorship and counseling as part of the apprenticeship.

Physical fitness is usually a basic requirement. Surveyors perform much of their work in the field, which might include hiking and walking over rugged terrain. They might be exposed to extreme heat and cold while performing their duties. High-rise building surveyors working on new construction or renovation projects might face extreme heights and work in tight areas.


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