What’s a Land Surveyor and Why Would You Need One?


Most people have seen land surveyors at work, but do not quite understand what they are doing or why their work is necessary. The job of a land surveyor is much more involved and important than most people realize. Understanding the duties of these professionals, along with their importance, will help individuals to know why they may require these services.

What Skills Does a Land Surveyor Have?

There are a few integral skills every land surveyor must have in their arsenal of tools for the job. The following are just a few of the major skills that are involved in land surveying.

  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Law
  • Client management
  • Data interpretation

These are just a few of the skills that are necessary for this type of professional. Understanding the work they do is essential for understanding the importance of these professionals.

What Is the Job of a Land Surveyor?

The primary duty of a land surveyor is to make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. Surveyors use a variety of measuring tools, depending on the project. They may use terrestrial scanners, theodolites, and GPS, among other tools.

Not only must a surveyor take land measurements, but they must also reconstruct their findings in drawings so they can be used for planning new buildings or establishing current property lines before the land is sold.

Why Would You Need a Land Surveyor?

There are many types and reasons for having a land survey conducted. One of the common reasons for a land survey is property disputes among neighbors. The following are some of the reasons you might need these services.

  • A boundary survey determines the lines and corners of a parcel of land.
  • An ALTA survey is used by title and mortgage companies and provides information that relates specifically to property titles and mortgage insurance.
  • A cadastral survey identifies land parcels in the Public Land Survey System of the United States so property lines can be reestablished.
  • Lot split surveys are required when a parcel of land is going to be split up into two or more parcels.
  • Floodplain surveys determine the elevation of a piece of property or a building to see if it is located in a flood plain

A land survey should only be conducted by a licensed professional and the proper survey must be carried out before any construction projects are commenced. Establishing the legal property lines is essential for any construction project, whether it be residential or commercial.

Tips for Finding the Right Surveyor

There are a few things individuals should look for before hiring a land surveyor. Finding the right professional for the job is essential for the best outcome.

  1. It is important to check the licensure and insurance of the surveying company to ensure they have both in good standing. It is against the law for surveyors to work without a license.
  2. The surveying company should offer the most advanced level of equipment to ensure they are able to provide a wide array of surveying services.
  3. It is important to consider the awards and recommendations the surveying company has. Asking other professionals for recommendations is a sound method of choosing the right surveyor for the job.


A land surveyor is a professional whose services are required by many land developers, real estate agents, building owners, and other professionals who deal with land. These services are essential for many reasons, including determining property lines.