Land/Geomatic Surveyor

What is a Land/Geomatic Surveyor?

A Land/Geomatic Surveyor is a professional who specializes in collecting and analyzing land and sea data, which is crucial for various construction and civil engineering projects. They use advanced technology and software to map geographical features, ensuring that construction plans are accurate and well-informed. In this guide, we’ll explore the role of a Land/Geomatic Surveyor, what they do, how to become one, potential salaries, career prospects, and related opportunities.

What Does a Land/Geomatic Surveyor Do?

Land/Geomatic Surveyors have the following key responsibilities:

Data Collection

  • Collecting data about land and sea features, including contours, subsurface materials, and man-made objects.
  • Utilizing advanced tools such as satellite images, GPS, and digital mapping equipment.

Mapping and Analysis

  • Creating detailed surveys and maps using technical software like computer-aided design (CAD).
  • Analyzing collected data to provide accurate information for construction and engineering projects.


  • Interacting with clients and fellow professionals on a daily basis, requiring strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Explaining complex information in a clear and understandable manner.

How to Become a Land/Geomatic Surveyor

Becoming a Land/Geomatic Surveyor involves specific educational requirements, practical training, and continuous professional development. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Entry Requirements

  • Most Land/Geomatic Surveyors hold a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in subjects such as surveying and mapping science, geomatics, or geographic information systems. This degree is often accompanied by a period of supervised instruction.
  • Specialized areas like hydroinformatics or environmental management may require postgraduate qualifications.
  • Entry with a non-accredited degree may also be possible, but additional postgraduate study could be necessary.


  • Some individuals may enter the industry at a lower level, such as a digital mapping assistant or computer-aided design (CAD) technician, with an HND or Foundation degree in related areas like applied science, civil engineering, or land/estate surveying.
  • Apprenticeships are available for school or college leavers, allowing them to start as assistant surveyors and progress through a combination of on-the-job training and NVQ studies. GCSE/National 5 passes in English, Maths, and IT are typically required.
  • A Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Surveying is also available, which qualifies applicants to the same level as a graduate.

Further Education

  • After becoming qualified, many surveyors work towards achieving chartered status, which involves additional courses and assessments through organizations like the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES) and RICS. This process usually takes between 4 to 5 years.
  • Regardless of your position, becoming a student member of RICS or ICES is advisable to stay updated with industry developments and support Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Working Conditions

Land/Geomatic Surveyors experience a varied work environment:

  • Typical working hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, but they may need to work unsocial hours to meet project deadlines. Weekend or shift work may be required for specific projects.
  • Frequent travel is common, and surveyors are often away from home. Overseas work is compensated with higher pay rates.
  • Most contracts are short-term, although multinational companies may offer long-term opportunities. While self-employment is an option, finding work can be challenging, so many surveyors choose salaried employment.

Land/Geomatic Surveyor Salary

Salaries for Land/Geomatic Surveyors can vary based on factors such as location and employer type. Here’s a rough salary range:

  • Starting salaries typically range from £20,000 to £25,000 per year.
  • Chartered Land/Geomatic Surveyors can earn between £30,000 and £50,000 per year.
  • At a senior level, either as a manager or a partner, salaries can reach £70,000 or more.

Please note that these figures are approximate and may vary.

Career Prospects and Progression

Land/Geomatic Surveyors have promising career prospects:

  • Due to the evolving nature of mapping and spatial data management, there is currently a shortage of professionals in this field.
  • Most graduates start as junior surveyors, with a natural progression to the surveyor role and potentially into team management positions.
  • Further study and qualification as a chartered surveyor can enhance opportunities for progression and salary improvement. Progression ease depends on qualifications and the size of the employing organization, and geographic mobility can be beneficial for career development.
  • Specialization in areas like offshore engineering and exploration or cartography is also an option, as is transitioning between the public and private sectors.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Working as a Land/Geomatic Surveyor comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • Opportunities to travel throughout the UK and overseas.
  • Significant contributions to land and environmental development projects.


  • Spending considerable time outdoors, often in adverse weather conditions, which can be cold, wet, and muddy.

Related Opportunities

If you’re interested in this field, you may also consider related career opportunities:

  • Planning and Development Surveyor: Focusing on planning and development aspects of land and properties.
  • Rural Property/Practice Surveyor: Specializing in rural property management and practices.
  • Town Planner: Dealing with urban planning and development.

Further Information

To pursue a career as a Land/Geomatic Surveyor and access additional resources, you can explore the following organizations:

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