I recently got my land surveyor license and my yearly salary increase.

 

I was a bit disappointed when I found out that it was only a 5% increase, because I was hoping for a bit more.  Is this typical or am I just expecting too much?

 

For those of you that have your license what kind of increase did you see when you got licensed? 

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Subject Tags: increase, license, salary, surveying

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Wow..anybody got some advice for Mr. H?

I did not get a raise at all. I was working as a technician at the time and they did not give me a different position either.

Using your license is how you make income from it. My advice is to find a way to start using it. One of the ways you can do this is try and obtain a license in an adjoining State or a State you may move to.

Yeah, my current position doesn't require much from my license, so that is probably why.

I'm currently working on getting my license for the adjoining state and I'm hoping that will help.

I've worked hard to get to this point and my expectations are probably just too high.

Brad, your expectations can never be too high, however, here are a few things you should expect:

  1. You will always be underpaid by your employer.
  2. If you open your own business you will be underpaid sometimes, and overpaid other times.  It depends upon the workload and the economy.
  3. If you keep your drive for continued success alive, you will always be happy.

I think I missed a few things, but the point is that you didn't get your license for your employer.  You got it for yourself.  What you do with it is up to you.  As much as some employers want you to think that they are your friend, you are an employee first and foremost.  Try not to confuse the two. 

When you interviewed for your current position, It may have been a one way conversation.  The rules have just changed.  You have something that many other companies want, now; a licensed professional.  But be careful not to take your new credential into places it does not fit yet, due to lack of experience, yet be confident in your ability to grow, professionally.

I learned more about surveying after I was licensed than I did in college or from my mentors.  It takes time.  A well-rounded professional does not evolve overnight.  A new credential is only the beginning of a rewarding career.

If you have a lot of money or access to funding you could go bravely into the world of business for yourself, now.

If not, you can go bravely into the job market to test your new credential, but I wouldn't recommend that quite yet.  Your current employer may have plans for you five years down the line that they truly want for you, but can not promise yet.

Quite the crossroads, isn't it? 

No matter which path you take from here, remember that if you are happy with the way things are now, you have nowhere to go, but you will always be following in the footsteps of those before you.

I travel this road that I am on every day.  I am licensed and have been surveying for over 20 years now, and not a day goes by during which I don't learn something new.

Welcome to the club, you're in now.  And welcome to a lifetime of opportunity!

Scott D. Warner, RLS

Senior Director / Editor

Land Surveyors United 

 

Brad,

Was just going back over past discussions, and saw your question about salary re: license.

It is a tough situation, but I can tell you some advice my father gave me many years ago that I think might have some bearing on your situation.

The advise was this:

Remember, usually an  employer pays only what they think they have to to keep you working for them.

So, : 1) Make yourself more valuable to your employer in both education, experience,             attitude, hard work, etc.

         2) Do not complain about your situation to any of your fellow employees.

         3) Check around in the same field and try to determine what others with the                    same curriculum vitae as you have are earning. This may even include                        answering advertisement for.jobs that have requirements you can fill.

         4)  Assess the situation within your employers place of business; if there no                   additional need within the company for a licensed surveyor, look for another               job.

         5)  Put your arguments in writing, along with how much you would like to make               (these are for your use only ..putting it in writing seems to give it a clearer                    perspective).

         6)  Decide whether you want to make your arguments to your present employer               or a prospective employer.

I tried to do those things my Dad suggested and it worked well for me.

One thing I would suggest.  Unless you feel you are properly compensated for it and your employer puts your name on his errors and omissions insurance, DO NOT STAMP any plans for the company nor represent yourself as a licensed land surveyor who takes responsibility for the companies work.  Also, under those circumstances, you should not display your certificate in the office.

I worked for two companies that were very willing to have my name on their errors and omissions insurance and treated me very well.  I also was sought out by an hired gun and as soon as I told them what my salary and insurance requirements were they ended the conversation, which was fine with me.

The hard work it took to get your license will continue...and it is not always easy or pleasant but it is worth continuing the "fight".

Good luck with your future.

David C. Garcelon

          

          

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