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It is estimated that you will spend 90,000 hours working. Why not do something you love, working on different projects, in diverse environments, making an impact in the community you live in?

What does a Land Surveyor Do?

Land Surveying is the practice of establishing the exact positions of boundaries and other features of a parcel of land. It involves measuring distances, angles and elevations of points of reference, as well as determinging the area of the land and the location of man-made structures. Land Surveying is an essential part of many types of construction, engineering and other land-related projects. Land Surveyors create, maintain and interpret land records used to protect the property rights of landowners and help make decisions regarding land development.

Demand for Land Surveyors is Reported to Grow 20% Within the Next 10 Years

People entering the profession don't ask if they can get a job, they choose where they want to work. Recent graduates are experiencing a 100% hire rate, which includes paid internships each summer before graduation. The number of available jobs that don't require a degree are also plentiful.

According to Princeton Review, "the need for surveyors is expected to grow significantly over the next ten years. Large, long overdue infrastructure maintenance projects are expected to be carried out, the brisk pace of housing starts and property concerns is expected to continue, and satellite technology is likely to make existing maps seem imprecise and in need of revision."

If you like working on various projects at different outdoor locations and collaborating with a number of professions - all while using advanced technology - land surveying could be in your future! 

What is the average salary of a land surveyor?

According to, the average base salary is $104,264 per year, with salaries as low as $75,353 and as high $144,266. With the average pay range varying greatly, it suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay upon skill level, location and years of experience.

Do I need a degree?

There are a few different paths towards licensure that you can go. The most direct route will be earning a four-year degree in Geomatics. But you can earn your licensure through nine years of on the job training. Opportunities to increase your job skills like the Certified Survey Technician also exist. Be sure to scroll down to Becoming a Land Surveyor to learn more about your options.

Becoming a Land Surveyor

What are the steps to becoming a professional land surveyor in Oregon? Click on the arrows below to learn more about each step.

1. Education
    • Check out Oregon Programs here or find ABET accredited programs available throughout the U.S. and worldwide, including 100% online. Click Here for more info.
    • Four-Year Program + 3 years of experience
      • Oregon Tech is the only four-year undergraduate degree program in Oregon. Check out
      • Oregon State University has a graduate program. Find out more at
    • Two-Year Program + 6 years of experience (or start here and transfer to Oregon Tech)
      • Clark College is the only two-year surveying program in the Portland Metro area. Check out
      • Umpqua Community College offers an Applied Surveying option. Find out more at
    • Engineering Degree or Forestry Degree + 6 years of experience
      • An ABET or ACCE accredited Four Year Baccalaureate Degree in Engineering. Oregon Tech, Oregon State University, and Portland State University have many ABET-accredited engineering programs.
      • Completion of coursework that includes 11 semester or 16 quarter hours of surveying instruction and surveying law may be substituted for two years of the qualifying experience required.
    • No Degree
      • Attain 9 years of field experience in place of a college program.

2. Pass the Required Exams
  • Exams can be taken whenever you feel prepared and in any order. However, the recommended order is to sit for the FS exam first, then the PS, then the Oregon-Specific Exam when you are close to obtaining your required experience.
  • Sit for the Fundamentals of Land Surveying (FS) exam
    • Go to to register and take the FS exam. Click here to purchase Practice Exam.
    • After passing the FS, you can apply for your Land Surveying Intern (LSI) certification by submitting an online application to OSBEELS. LSI Certification is not required for professional licensure; however, some employers require LSI certification.
  • Sit for the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam
    • Go to to register and take the PS exam. Click here to purchase Practice Exam.
  • Sit for the Oregon-Specific Land Surveying Exam
    • Apply to OSBEELS to sit for the April or October Administration of the Oregon-Specific exam. Exam registration deadlines can be found here.

3. Gain Experience Under a Licensed Land Surveyor (PLS)
  • Depending on your education, gain the required surveying experience under a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS). See OAR 820-010-2020 for qualifying combinations of education and experience.

4. Become a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor
  • Submit PLS Application Packet
    • Submit your application to OBSEELS online here.
    • For the application, you will need to provide your transcripts, verification of your passed exams, and 5 references, 3 of whom should be registered Professional Land Surveyors.
    • If you have a NCEES record that includes your education, exam verifications and references, you can transmit your record to OSBEELS to complete your PLS application. Information on setting up a NCEES record can be found here.

Already in the profession?

Take advantage of the programs and opportunities available to improve your Career.


Let’s Get Together

Get the support you need when you are part of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon.

Membership with PLSO offers:

  • Professional development opportunities
  • Money-saving programs
  • Discounts for national programs
  • Legislative advocacy for our industry
  • And more!

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