Land Surveying is one of the oldest professions in the world. The first land surveys on record were completed nearly 3,000 years ago when Egyptian Land Surveyors subdivided the fertile land around the Nile River. Today, Licensed Land Surveyors in the oil and gas industry plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to determine and interpret the location of boundaries, buildings, structures and other features.

What a typical day looks like:

Licensed Land Surveyors work primarily in the office reading through legislation, bylaws and engineering documents to help plan, direct a survey team and create final reports. They research legal records, survey records and land titles to find historical information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.

They can go from suits to boots and may spend some time outdoors providing oversight to information collection. In the field, they determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas, using theodolites, transits, levels and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).

Working closely with engineers, architects and land-related professionals, Licensed Land Surveyors use all this data to calculate precise measurements for engineering, mapmaking, land evaluation or construction. They create final land descriptions, reports and maps that are usually considered legally binding. This means they may be asked to present their findings in a courtroom or to present to executives to inform company decisions.

Licensed Land Surveyors are typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services and pipelines sectors of the oil and gas industry.

The kinds of problems Land Surveyors solve at work:

A Licensed Land Surveyor’s work requires a variety of skills, as they are both the master of surveying techniques and the manager of teams responsible for carrying out survey plans. These skills include accuracy, project management, leadership and geomatics engineering. They also need to be able to determine the best way to collect the necessary data to create their land descriptions, reports and maps and be able to verify all of the information.

Skills used most on the job:

Land Surveyors have strong math skills and an ability to precisely measure and record data. They are skilled users of new technologies and software. They are also strong researchers who can make decisions based on reliable information.

When it comes to land ownership, Licensed Land Surveyors draw the line. This is an important role since they’re responsible for the legal land surveys that define the company’s properties and ownership.

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