Hello guys, I have finished my education in my native country (Romania). I have a B.A. and M.A. in geography and I can say that about 30-40% of what I have learned is somewhat related to surveying. Unfortunately the school system is also not very good in Romania (school can be quite expensive and the quality is not as good as it used to be), so I have decided to move here in the U.K.

My only problem is that a degree here is about 20.000 pounds (that is how much I have to pay for a level 7 postgraduate diploma in land surveying). I am honestly interested in becoming a trainee surveyor and I will take any sort of job that is suitable for a beginner. A land surveying assistant job will be more than enough for me.

I am kind of frustrated about the cost of education in the U.K. however I have the option of taking a level 3 ProQual certificate in engineering surveying for a total cost of about 5000 pounds. If I will go for the ProQual certificate I can actually spend more resources on IT courses and CAD courses so what is the best option for me? spending 20.000 pounds on a degree or just going for a level 3 certificate and educating myself in IT and CAD? I am honestly interested in learning what is the best option for becoming an assistant surveyor. Most ads need graduates with some AutoCad and Office knowledge.

Right now I am studying level 1 CAD and Level 2 IT and I am also taking online lessons in CAD. I am basically learning as much as I can at a reduced cost. It is kind of a frustrating battle to think about and I know that a lot of people have been going through the same agonizing thought process (because of the large sums of money involved in higher education). What is your opinion on this subject? To be honest I really believe that higher education is really a scam because in the old days becoming a surveyor was not something that required high end degrees, at least not in my native country. People used to learn this job in the army or local high schools back in the day.

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First of all you don't need higher education to become surveyor/engineer, but it's advantage and if you want to grow in the industry might become crucial.
Second, you already have education from Romania. Get in touch with UK Naric, send your diplomas from Romania and they will make an assessment of what that is equal compared to UK standards.

i don't want to get everyone all worked up here, but for anyone to say you don't need a higher education for the engineering and surveying fields is fooling everyone including themselves.

From where did you get those figures and thoughts? If you allready have a higher education proof , more or less surveying related , what else you looking for! how old are you ? get your self a job and gain experience!!! get in touch ! where in UK are you based?

Bottom line YES. Whether it is surveying, geomatices, geospatial, GIS, or what ever. I shows you have commitment and you are able to learn without even opening your mouth. There is ALWAYS going to be the exception but by enlarge, GET a degree.


I have a Bachelors from Fresno in Geomatics Engineering from 22 years back and I can honestly say I have NEVER regretted getting it. I have lots of regrets but that is not even remotely close to being on the list. It has open doors many times through me career. 

BIG CAVEAT. Do your best to not take out student loans. Apply for scholarships, grants and WORK. Heck take 8 years to get a 4 year degree. Do not go above 5-15K in loans. 

Become a lawyer specializing is boundary land because that is where surveying is going anyway.

Go gett'm.


'Back in the day' surveying did not have all the high end 'technological mumbo jumbo' that is intertwined on our profession in this current day and age. That is why may licensed Surveyors did not have a degree.  I got my B.S. 35 years ago when technology was rapidly changing the landscape. I would not be  able to keep up with all the new things out there without the basic foundation I learned during those four years

I am training a new fella who has chosen to change professions and become a Surveying Technician. We are constantly talking about the need to keep up on the ever changing CAD resources. Hold fast to the education that is under your belt and stick with your current route of CAD and IT.

Very wise man! You will not be sorry.

I agree but the idea is to get in the job and go for a high end degree after one or 2 years in the industry. However I do agree with your arguments. Thank you.

Good advice. I appreciate the effort. In fact I only need 26 months of work to pay for my Postgraduate Diploma (I do not need a masters it is way too expensive, a postgrad diploma is enough to get my foot in the door anyway). Right now I am in this industrial area where they have a lot of cheap courses in IT and CAD and I like to learn IT. From what I understand IT is quite useful in the geospatial world. I want to thank you for your advice and I am looking forward to continue with my plans however I do have a deep regret because in Romania people actually learned this job during high school but not anymore.. it is as if the school system is a disaster :) From what I understand in the US it is not much different with 6 or 7 graduates in land surveying from the university of Pennysilvania :).

Education is always worth the effort, it is unfortunately, expensive these days.  Here, in the US, the thing that mainly separated the profession of surveying from a tradesman such as a party chief or a layout man was knowledge of boundary law & making decisions based on the science of measurements. That is rapidly changing with the advancements in measuring techniques using geodesy & GPS.

 You have decisions to make. First you have to find out what the requirements are for registration. Here, in the State of South Carolina, there are no education or license requirements to work on a survey crew.  A Land Surveyors License requires a BS degree with surveying emphasis, several years of field experience & you must pass two exams. After you pass the surveyor in training exam & get more experience, you take the final PLS or RLS Exam. I have no knowledge of what is required in England. You also have to decide if you want to be a tradesman or a registered professional. I wouldn't worry too much about CAD unless you want to be a draftsman. I have been using CAD since sometime in the 80's. I have never taken a CAD course & never used AUTO CAD. My plats are as good & as pretty as anybodies. It is your decision in the final analysis. Once you gather all the information, you have to decide what you want & if you want to do what it takes to get there. You don't have to do it all at once, you can work while you are learning. Most things that are worth anything are not easy.

 Good luck & hope this helps. 

First of all I want to thank all of you for your support. It is really about getting into the job and working in this field for at least a year or two (after one or two years of work in the industry I can invest in a level 7 degree).

I am the kind of person that likes to learn alone. I am committed to learning but the frustrating thought of working for years in an unrelated field just to get a level 7 degree to get into the job seems a bit crazy and this is what I wanted to clarify with this post. I know that I may sound a bit nerdy but even training opportunities were not really common in my country and here there are so many training opportunities and job opportunities that the only real problem is to prioritize.  

Dear Octavian,

                       In my opinion since you complete graduation in Geography so you can do the survey work.But first  you get job in survey company in your home town.Then you get experinnce in survey.Land Survey is good profession.go ahead.

Dear Octavian,

                       You can try in your neighbor country where the opportunity has.Please try your best.And you will achieve your goal.

                                           Best of luck.

                                                                                                                       With regards

                                                                                                                 Tuhin mukherjee


Hello Octavian,

Are you aware that the principal body for land surveying in the UK is the RICS? With a BA and MA in Geography with - as you state - 40% surveying content you should be eligible to register as a candidate for their Assessment of Professional Competence in the Geomatics pathway, eventually to qualify as a Chartered Land Surveyor.

As you state you are prepared to work as a trainee, you could also consider the Associate route which many applicants take as it enables them to obtain an internationally recognised qualification first (AsocRICS) and then progress to Chartered status.

Contact them at: rics.org (or send me a message if you want some further help).

Best off luck.


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