What Factors Affect a Land Surveyor's Salary?

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  • Written By: Angela Colley
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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A land surveyor determines land boundaries by using various kinds of equipment to measure different areas. These land boundaries are used to make maps and determine the boundary lines for commercial and residential land plots. Different factors effect a land surveyor's salary, such as his or her education and experience level, the industry in which he or she works, and the location of the particular job. Generally, having a higher education and experience level, working in an in-demand industry, and living and working in an urban area gives a land surveyor more opportunities to earn a higher salary rate.

Most land surveyor jobs require a formal education. Many technical schools and community colleges offer a one or two year certificate program that teaches the basics of using the equipment and determining land plots. While many jobs will accept a certificate in lieu of a degree, a land surveyor's salary may increase if he or she has a four year degree from an accredited university.

Beyond education, experience also plays a part in determining a land surveyor's salary. Generally, a land surveyor just starting out works as an apprentice or accepts a job at a lower salary rate. As a land surveyor gains more experience in the field, he or she will see pay increases and may qualify for higher paying jobs.


Several industries employ land surveyors, which can effect a land surveyor's salary as each industry pays differently. For example, land surveyors who are employed by the government earn higher salaries than land surveyor's who work for a private residential development companies. Different jobs within a specific industry may also earn different salaries. For example, land surveyors working for the federal government can make more income then those working for a state or local government.

Location can also determine a land surveyor's salary. Urban area and other areas with a higher demand for land surveying, such as growing suburban areas with large development needs, tend to have higher salaries than areas where demand is lower. For example, land surveyors working in New York state have higher average salaries compared to states such as Montana or Nebraska, as New York has more urban areas and areas currently under expansion or redevelopment. The cost of living in an area can also drive up the average pay rate for all jobs, including land surveyors.


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Post 1

Thanks for sharing this information! I also think that land surveying equipment would play a role in their salary as well. Especially if they are their own employer.

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