How To Become A Certified Surveyor: Certification And Career Roadmap

A certified surveyor is a professional who has undergone extensive training and has received certain certifications from the Geospatial Information Practitioners Association of Nigeria (GIPAN). This blog post will enlighten you on how to become a Certified Surveyor. 

About A Certified Surveyor

A certified surveyor has met the required requirements and has been approved by the government to practice surveying. Most states require that you earn at least two years of experience as an intern or field assistant before applying for your license.

To become an accredited professional engineer (PE) in many states, you must also pass exams that test your knowledge of math, physics, and engineering principles, such as the solidity of materials or types of stresses applied at various points.

Career Roadmap Of A Certified Surveyor

A certified surveyor is an individual with a degree in engineering who has passed the required state exams and received a certification of this knowledge. They are qualified to; 

  • Conduct surveys on land, structures, and property boundaries; 
  • Mark out boundaries; 
  • Plan layouts for construction projects; 
  • Inspect properties for defects such as septic systems or drainage issues; 
  • Prepare maps (as well as other documents) based on field measurements taken with equipment such as total station or traverse level.

The first move toward becoming a certified surveyor is earning your bachelor’s degree in surveying at an accredited university. There, you’ll learn how to use technology like GPS devices and laser range finders while learning about mathematics, physics, ethics, and human relations skills critical for working professionally in this field.

After graduating from college with these skillset(s), it’s time for you to apply yourself by taking one or more postsecondary courses that teach techniques specific to either geospatial information practitioner (GISP) or cartographer, depending upon which route you choose going forward!

You can then apply for a job as a surveyor’s assistant or technician, which will help you gain experience before taking the exam. Once you’ve gained enough experience, it’s time to take the Fundamentals of Surveying Examination (FSES) as well as the Principles and Practice of Surveying Examination (PPSE).

Once you’ve passed both exams, you can apply for your surveyor assistant license. If you want to become a geospatial information practitioner (GISP), however, two more steps are involved. First, you need to take the Fundamentals of GISP Examination and then apply for certification once you pass it!

If you want to become a cartographer, there’s one more step involved: taking the Fundamentals of Cartography Examination. Once you’ve passed that exam, it’s time to apply for certification.

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, it’s time to start your career as a surveyor!

Practical Procedures To Become A Certified Surveyor

There are practical procedures to become a Certified Surveyor. These procedures are explained below:

1. You Need A Bachelor’s Degree In Geomatics, Geoinformatics, Surveying And Mapping, Or A Related Course.

You need a Bachelor’s degree in Geomatics, Geoinformatics, Surveying and Mapping, or a related course. Most of the courses are offered at universities, and it is important to check the course requirements of your preferred university before applying for admission.

The coursework is theory-based and heavily focused on mathematics, so you will have to study hard if you wish to crack this industry. Common courses include:

  • Geomatics (Geology) – This teaches you about how Earth works so that you can apply that knowledge in your daily life as an engineer in geotechnical engineering or civil engineering projects such as road design and construction sites, etcetera. It also covers topics like surveying techniques used today through GPS technology, among others. 

2. Have A Job Experience Of Not Less Than Four Years

In order to become a Certified Surveyor, you will need to have a job experience of not less than four years. You can do this by working for a private company, government, or non-governmental organization (NGO).

In most cases, if you have worked in the field of surveying for 5+ years then it would be straightforward for you to get your CSCS license from your country’s government. 

However, suppose it is not possible to apply directly and instead want to pursue this career path via freelance work.

In that case, certain eligibility requirements must be met before applying for any kind of certification program like CSCS – including being licensed as an “Actuary” by ICANN’s Notified Body Advisory Committee (NBAC) and having at least five years’ experience appraising land values based on aerial photographs taken from aircraft flying above ground level at heights ranging from 50 feet below sea level up till 1000 feet above ground level depending on location, etc.

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3. Apply For Registration With The Geospatial Information Practitioners Association Of Nigeria (GIPAN)

GIPAN is the umbrella body for all geospatial professionals in Nigeria. It sets standards and regulates the practice of geospatial professions, including surveying, mapping, and GIS technologies. To become a member of GIPAN, you must:

  • Be an approved applicant by your state or territory’s professional body;
  • Have attended a course on surveying theory/practice at a tertiary institution;
  • Pass an exam that tests knowledge about surveying principles and practical skills such as fieldwork techniques. 

Certified Surveyor Certifications

To become a certified surveyor, you must first complete the following requirements:

  • CS – Certified Surveyor (CS)
  • CLS – Certified Land Surveyor (CLS)
  • CPS – Certified Professional Surveyor (CPS)

The first step to becoming a surveyor is completing a university degree program. You must then pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam to become a Certified Survey Technician (CST). This exam tests your knowledge of surveying principles and practices.

Once you have completed these requirements, you can apply for the Professional Land Surveyor Examination (PLSE).

This exam tests your knowledge of surveying theory and principles. You must also pass a written examination on CAD, which stands for computer-aided design. Once you have passed all of these exams, you can apply to become a full-fledged surveyor.

Skills Required To Become A Certified Surveyor

Below are the skills required to become a Certified Surveyor:

  • Computer Skills
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Surveying and Mapping
  • Mathematics

Education Requirements To Become A Certified Surveyor

To become a certified surveyor, you must have a bachelor’s degree in Geomatics, Geoinformatics, Surveying and Mapping, or a related course.

You will also need to have at least ten years of professional experience as a Surveyor and experience as a Supervisor.

In addition to these requirements for becoming certified by NIS Nigeria, applicants should also apply for registration with GIPAN.

Experience And Training Of A Certified Surveyor

As a certified surveyor, you must have a minimum of four years of experience in the field. However, there are no compulsory training courses for becoming a certified surveyor. However, it is recommended that you complete some form of training so that you can be updated with the latest technology and trends in the industry.

You can always go through workshops or seminars geared towards helping professionals become more efficient at their jobs and learn about new methods used by other companies around them.

There are several ways to get your hands dirty in this field:

  • From taking part in interactive webinars where experts discuss topics related to surveying;
  • Attending conferences where peers share ideas on how best practices could be applied; 
  • Joining associations such as the American Society Of Surveying Engineers (ASSE) or National Council Of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB);
  • Taking online courses such as those offered by Digital Surveyors International Foundation;
  • Attending university programs where students learn about these subjects while earning degrees.

Certified Surveyor Licensing

A Certified Surveyor Licensing is a professional license that lets you legally practice as a land surveyor. You can also become a Certified Surveyor in Nigeria, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The process of obtaining this certification includes passing written exams at many different levels of difficulty and completing additional requirements such as continuing education credits or completion of projects.

There are two types of licenses: Certified Land Surveyor and Certified Coastal Engineer (CCE). Both require similar training but have different requirements for entry into their respective fields.

However, the CCE requires less experience than the LCS due to its focus on coastal-related projects rather than more general land surveying tasks like those required by LCSs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Type Of Surveyors Makes The Most Money?

The most lucrative surveying jobs were with the federal government, which paid surveyors an average of $82,680 per year as of 2012. Those employed by state governments also earned well above the national average of $70,760 per year.

2. How Do I Become A Surveyor In New Mexico?

Individuals can obtain a license if they have an approved four-year degree in the field, have completed at least four years of internship, and passed the required Fundamentals (8 hours) and Principles and Procedures (8 hours) exams.

3. How Do I Become A Licensed Surveyor In Kansas?

Applicants must pass two Kansas State Specific Exam sections before being issued a license.

4. How Do I Start A Career In Surveying?

In order to obtain a license, most states require approximately four years of experience and training under a licensed inspector after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

5. Is There A Shortage Of Surveyors?

Several surveys have confirmed that quantity surveying is a profession with the most significant staff shortages, even today, with many construction firms reporting skill shortages in the profession.

6. How Long Does It Take To Train As A Surveyor?

A degree apprenticeship usually takes five years to complete. 

7. How Much Do Surveyors Make Per Month?

How much does a LAND Surveyor make? As of Nov 26, 2022, the average monthly payment for a LAND Surveyor in the United States is $5,233 a month.

8. How Much Do Surveyors Make Per Month?

How much does a LAND Surveyor make? As of Nov 26, 2022, the average monthly payment for a LAND Surveyor in the United States is $5,233 a month.

9. Do I Need Maths To Be A Surveyor?

Surveyors must master advanced calculus, linear algebra, and error analysis to understand geodesy.

10. What Grades Do You Need To Be A Surveyor?

Entry requirements will vary greatly depending on the subject and university, but most ask for at least two A Levels and four A-C GCSE grades or the equivalent.


Surveyors are the people who help to plan and design the environment. Surveying is a science that involves measuring distance, elevation, or other features of the land to assess its suitability for different purposes. With this information, they can give better solutions. 

Surveyors use many different tools, such as GPS units, computers, and software programs, when carrying out their job duties. Feel free to drop your opinion in the comment section. 

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