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Understanding Surveyor Roles

Surveyors can take on many different tasks and roles during their careers, depending on their qualifications and level of experience. Understanding each role and level of study required will help you chose the right study pathway for you in pursuing your surveying career.



Typical salary: $42,000

Study: TAFE or VET Certificate III (traineeship)


Survey assistants help surveyors undertake surveying projects.

They may do the following tasks:

  • Maintain and use surveying equipment

  • Assist surveyors in taking measurements

  • Record measurements manually or electronically

  • Peg out boundaries


Typical salary: $64,000 with five years experience (technician may also have use of vehicle)

Study: TAFE or VET diploma


Surveying technicians collect, analyse data and develop plans for land Surveyors to provide the basic information required for a surveying project.

They may do the following:

  • Take measurements and collect information using high tech equipment

  • Analyse survey data and make calculations

  • Draft plans and plot data using computer software

  • Set out reference points on mining and construction activities

Surveying technicians are involved in various projects such as survey drafting, photogrammetry, mining, land development, engineering and construction surveying.


Typical salary: Start from $55,000 (plus use of a vehicle within six months)

Study: Undergraduate or postgraduate degree


Surveyors perform the following tasks:

  • Measure the size and shape of an area of land

  • Work out the position of boundaries of public or private land

  • Study the natural and natural environment

  • Physically set out land and building developments

Surveyors work in many related fields such as cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing surveying or as project managers.


Typical salary: Starts from $90,000 + vehicle

Study: Undergraduate degree + postgraduate degree + professional training agreement


A licensed or registered surveyor is the only person who is legally authorised to perform land or cadastral surveying and sign-off on projects.

They perform the following tasks:

  • Apply the laws & procedures relating to land ownership, boundaries and titles when undertaking surveying work

  • Accurately map out positions of boundaries where land is subdivided, bought or sold

  • Study the natural and urban environment

  • Plan and provide critical advice for project developments in land and buildings

  • Manage projects from planning approval through construction for land development in urban, rural and regional areas

  • Utilise cutting-edge technology such as GPS and laser technology to measure angles and distances on the land


Source: A Life Without Limits - Surveyor Roles

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