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Surveyor Job Descriptions List

At times you may want to apply for multiple positions at a company with available surveying jobs. This quick guide below is by no means exhaustive and I have placed it here for all of you to review and add to, for everyone's reference.  You will find a number of job titles in the surveying industry.  What I would like for you to do is add anything you think needs to be added to this list in the comments below.  Job descriptions may vary according to location, so please add those as well. This list may also help when you decide to rewrite your resume.


Land Survey Positions

Land surveyors are responsible for creating legal property boundaries for roads, pipelines, facility sites, subdivisions, and other right of ways and easements.
Boundaries may be marked with a large variety of different markers. Some of the markers typically used include steel spikes, steel or iron posts, and marker caps mounted on sections of pipe or iron bars. These markers are usually buried and are intended to be permanent, and many jurisdictions impose heavy fines and jail sentences for the removal or destruction of these markers.
If the survey is intended to create boundaries for a pipeline, well site, or other facility, crews will also mark the locations of these markers with painted wooden lathe so that the boundaries are visible during construction.

Once a survey is registered with the land titles division of the government, the boundaries created are legally binding.

Land Survey Coordinator

  • senior land surveyor
  • responsible for the coordination of the survey project
  • responsible for the production and safe operation of all survey crews
  • conducts safety meetings
  • works closely with the client's field representative to determine the placement of right-of-ways, facility sites, etc.
  • may also perform survey duties
  • hourly pay or contract position
  • lots of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to head office

Land Surveyor - Party Chief

  • uses a total station survey instrument or GPS system
  • places survey monuments to establish legal boundaries including property lines, right-of-ways, easements, etc.
  • uses existing survey plans and sketches to determine locations of existing survey monuments, as well as to place new monuments
  • uses trigonometry and other mathematic functions extensively
  • creates sketches of existing and new surveys
  • responsible for providing accurate survey data
  • responsible for the actions of the survey assistant
  • responsible for the safety and production of the survey crew
  • very physical job
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • lots of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to Survey Coordinator or head office

Land Survey Assistant

  • helps the surveyor as required
  • uses a rod with prisms to reflect the beam of the survey instrument to measure distances and angles
  • or, uses GPS system to take measurements on survey monuments
  • responsible for giving the surveyor accurate shots on all survey monuments and land contours
  • very physical job
  • all weather, outdoor job
  • heavy lifting
  • hourly pay
  • lots of overtime
  • accommodation paid
  • hotshot (meal allowance) in town or provided meals in camp
  • lots of travel
  • reports to the Surveyor

Seismic Survey Crew Positions

Survey Coordinator

  • the survey company's representative in the field
  • responsible for the safe operation, conduct, and productivity of all chaining and survey crews on the job
  • conducts safety meetings and ensures that all employees understand safety procedures
  • maintains detailed reports of crew expenses and productivity
  • handles crew expenses like accommodations and meal allowances
  • reports to head office and to the client representative on site
  • daily pay

Line Producer

  • senior seismic surveyor
  • may use conventional (optical) survey equipment or GPS technology
  • uses existing survey evidence to place the seismic line in the correct position
  • instructs the slashers where to cut the seismic line
  • decides where to deflect the seismic lines to avoid major obstacles
  • works closely with Cat Operators and Head Slasher to construct the line, as well as detours around obstacles for drill rigs and trucks
  • in heli-portable operations, chooses locations for heli-pads
  • responsible for the cleanliness and safety of the line
  • reports to Survey Coordinator

Surveyor - GPS (seismic)

  • uses specialized GPS equipment to position the seismic line and place flags at designated intervals
  • responsible for keeping shot points legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • may work alone or with an assistant
  • responsible for survey data
  • responsible for all GPS equipment
  • responsible for actions of surveyor's helper, if provided
  • creates chaining notes and line sketches
  • daily pay
  • reports to Survey Coordinator

Surveyor - Conventional (optical)

  • responsible for the safe operation of the survey crew
  • operates the survey instrument
  • daily pay
  • measures distances and angles between points on the seismic lines
  • double checks the work of the chainer
  • creates a sketch of the line showing relevant survey information
  • ties seismic lines to existing survey evidence to verify location
  • responsible for field survey data
  • responsible for the surveyor's helper's actions
  • responsible for keeping explosives legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • reports to the Survey Coordinator

Surveyor's Assistant

  • daily pay
  • helps the surveyor as required
  • uses a rod with prisms to reflect the beam of the survey instrument to measure distances and angles (conventional survey)
  • may operate the GPS equipment (GPS survey)
  • responsible for giving the surveyor accurate shots on all shot points and land contours
  • if placing flags, responsible for choosing locations for shot points, as well as the accurate numbering and placement of flags at proper intervals
  • reports to the Surveyor


  • pulls a cable with marks at designated intervals where flags are to be placed
  • creates chaining notes and sketches of the seismic line
  • decides where to place shot points to maintain legal distances from houses, water wells, pipelines, etc.
  • responsible for the safe placement of shot points
  • responsible for the chainer's helper's actions
  • reports to the Survey Coordinator
  • daily pay

Chainer's Assistant

  • places flags on marks on the cable
  • measures distances from flags to features in terrain
  • numbers all flags
  • responsible for the accurate numbering and placement of flags
  • reports to Chainer
  • helps chainer as required
  • daily pay


  • uses GPS or conventional equipment, as well as specialized computer equipment to create a detailed topographical map of the seismic lines and surrounding areas
  • responsible for including all relevant information on maps
  • daily or hourly pay
  • reports to Survey Coordinator

Pipe and Buried Utility Locator

  • uses information and maps from oil companies, as well as field evidence to determine the location of buried pipelines, cables, and other utilities
  • uses specialized equipment to find, track, and mark pipelines and buried utilities of all kinds
  • responsible for finding and documenting all pipelines and other utilities in the area of the proposed construction
  • responsible for the training and safety of the locator's helper
  • daily or hourly pay
  • may require Pipe Locating ticket

Assistant Locator

  • helps the Utility Locator as necessary
  • daily pay
  • reports to Utility Locator

Land Agent

  • works on behalf of the construction company to acquire land for oilfield operations through leases, purchases, and access/usage agreements
  • coordinates with the survey company, the oil company, and the land owners
  • may require training or government certification

Construction Consultant

  • the developer or construction company's representative in the field
  • determines best placement of wells, facilities, and pipelines within the target area, as well as access to those sites
  • coordinates with the survey company, the land company, and landowners to determine acceptable placement of facilities, wells, and pipelines
  • coordinates with construction companies to schedule rig / crew moves
  • ensures that permits and government approvals are in place prior to construction or drilling, and that operations comply with local laws and company policies
  • ensures that sites and routes are properly marked prior to the construction or rig crew's arrival



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  • Land Surveyor

    What does a land surveyor do?  You might be surprised.  


    Visit the Land Surveyors DIRECTory to see what some individual companies and surveyors specialize in.

    Explore, learn, teach, and enjoy!

    Surveyors Direct - A Global Directory of Land Surveyors
    Land Surveyors Directory featuring reputable land surveyors around the world
  • i had several emails from technical writers wanting to charge me up to 500 dollars to re write my resume, i laughed... until now. i am actually considering it, this is when i came to catch up on lsu and noticed this.

    i know someone can offer the same service to our users for the time involved, trade, or what ever... as we know nothing good is free accept for rain and wind....

    good job justin, on this.. very well done. you know anyone willing to take a look at my resume and re vamp it? i am still employed but searching
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