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Surveyor shortage redo  

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Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
250+ posts Registered

I do not believe the surveyor shortage exists!

However, I do believe that there MIGHT be a shortage of Surveyors who are willing to put up with the terrible commutes, subpar pay and being treated like a unwelcome yet unfortunate necessary evil by a bunch of engineers who are licensed by the same boards that we are.

I also believe that during the 70's & 80' far too many surveyors were licensed and it drove down prices tremendously and what many areas are experiencing right now is a reordering of our ranks.

The pay for a long time has been depressed and because of that nobody wants to be a surveyor. I have told many people do not bother with entering this "profession" because of the pay and advancement. I remind them that if they are going for a 4 year degree to stay away from surveying because of the pay & high startup costs. Nobody can do their projects until surveyors give them the info. They need us, we don't need them.

I know of many men who walked away from this profession for the very reasons I've described and they are better off for it.

I can only speak for Georgia and Alabama & I can't speak for other places but I know entry level wages are still around $12 an hour around here with little or no benefits. That needs to change and I don't know the answer. It costs a lot of money to perform surveys and until companies are willing to charge more and stop knowingly undercutting everyone else and working for wages then nothing will change.

It is common to see surveyors with ragged out trucks and even more ragged out crew members, just grungy looking "men". There was a nearby company who used parolees for crew members because they were cheap. Now that always bothered me because surveying is often touted as a profession yet this guy hired these people and sent them to other people property and it always seemed like a opportunity to "case out" someone property to later rob it.

It is odd that it is a profession that I love and hate at the same time and since I don't play well with others very well it might be the only job for me but I sometimes wish I had started a small bait and tackle shop decades ago. Me: "Would you like some red wigglers to go with that beer?"

So.....why should a young person pursue surveying as a career choice?

Steven Provenson
My Stage Name is; Just A. Surveyor

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Posted : December 4, 2017 3:53 am SellmanA liked
Tommy Young
(@tommy-young)
1,000+ posts Registered

You're right. There is not a shortage of surveyors. There is a shortage of surveyors willing to survey lots for $300.

I do worry about there being enough surveyors 30 years down the road, because the proliferation of single man crews doesn't allow for much mentoring.

We've got a young man working here that's been here for about a year, after graduating college with surveying classes last year. He had spent his summers working for another surveyor in town. All that other surveyor does is boundary surveys. He doesn't do topos. He doesn't do ALTAs. He doesn't do elevation certificates. He doesn't do construction layout. So all this young man learned to do was boundary work. However, that's the hardest part to learn. He knows more about boundary surveying than any other college grad we've hired. I wonder where these new licensees are going to learn boundary surveying.

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Posted : December 4, 2017 7:10 am
Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
250+ posts Registered

I don't worry for one second about 30 years down the road and I feel that IF surveying still exists it will be in a better place than it is now. When prices rise, and they must rise a lot, that simple act will bring people into the profession. Pay them and they will come.

Edited: 2 weeks  ago

Steven Provenson
My Stage Name is; Just A. Surveyor

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Posted : December 4, 2017 10:53 am SellmanA and Duane Frymire liked
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Registered

Pay in most of the northwest is much better, but talent is very hard to find..

CFedS, PLS ID-OR-WA-UT-NV

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Posted : December 4, 2017 11:29 am SellmanA, Rick Taylor and gschrock liked
lmbrls
(@lmbrls)
500+ posts Registered
Posted by: Just A. Surveyor

 

I also believe that during the 70's & 80' far too many surveyors were licensed and it drove down prices tremendously and what many areas are experiencing right now is a reordering of our ranks.

The Rate of new Surveyors in GA in the 80s was about 30 a year. There were about 1,000 active surveyors. I believe you will find that to be about the case today.  Although, the State has had a significant population increase. The problem now like it was then is that too many Surveyors are in a race to the bottom with their fee structure. There is always someone willing to do it cheaper.  Nothing would help more than better business practices by the entire profession.

 

 

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Posted : December 4, 2017 1:52 pm
Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
250+ posts Registered

I generally agree with that statement and the need for better business practices. Maybe more real world Continuing Ed classes of profit and loss or maybe real world cost of doing business.

I would be interested in those kinds of things but most of what I see are the same old tired worn out subjects. 

 

Edited: 2 weeks  ago

Steven Provenson
My Stage Name is; Just A. Surveyor

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Posted : December 4, 2017 3:25 pm eapls2708 liked
James Fleming
(@james-fleming)
2,500+ posts Registered

These are some of the continuing education classes at the Pennsylvania conference next month:

  • Managing Overhead and Survey Operational Costs
  • Determining the True Cost of a Project
  • Economics for Small Business
  • Human Resources for Small Business
  • Project Management and Liability
  • Small Business Marketing

“Nothing grows old-fashioned so fast as modernity.”
― Robertson Davies

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Posted : December 4, 2017 3:40 pm Just A. Surveyor liked
leegreen
(@leegreen)
1,000+ posts Registered

To make matters worse in my area. NY State doesn't allow any business courses for continuing education credits to Land Surveyors.

~LeeGreen.com

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Posted : December 4, 2017 3:46 pm
Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
250+ posts Registered

These are some of the continuing education classes at the Pennsylvania conference next month:

  • Managing Overhead and Survey Operational Costs
  • Determining the True Cost of a Project
  • Economics for Small Business
  • Human Resources for Small Business
  • Project Management and Liability
  • Small Business Marketing

 

 

Those are excellent offering for PDH's. I usually attend the Alabama conferences simply because they are far better than the ones the Georgia society puts on. The two can't even compare.

 

I would actually seriously like those offerings.

Edited: 2 weeks  ago

Steven Provenson
My Stage Name is; Just A. Surveyor

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Posted : December 4, 2017 4:06 pm
Just A. Surveyor
(@just-a-surveyor)
250+ posts Registered
Posted by: leegreen

To make matters worse in my area. NY State doesn't allow any business courses for continuing education credits to Land Surveyors.

See that is the bullshit that does more harm than good. For years the Georgia society had the same old tired and wore out crap from the same old tired and wore old speakers. Oh you could count on everybody attending a 4 hour MTS class and falling asleep and waking up with drool running down your shirt. They offered crap for classes and I haven't attended since I was told I had no business being in Samsog.org because "I had nothing good to contribute" so I let my membership lapse and started going to the Alabama. conferences. 

 

Every business, not just surveyors, but especially surveyors would benefit from business classes and lots of them. I pretty lucky in that I'm married to an woman with accounting degree and lots of business knowledge but even still it is typical for most PDH classes to be survey related.

Well dammit we know how to survey, at least most of us, we don't need more classes teaching us how to interpret a deed from preacher man Jeff Lucas.

Edited: 2 weeks  ago

Steven Provenson
My Stage Name is; Just A. Surveyor

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Posted : December 4, 2017 4:13 pm
BushAxe
(@bushaxe)
100+ posts Registered

I can’t seem to fnd any help that has any education in land surveying. Plenty of applicants. But I want to hire someone who is interested in working toward a PLS, good pay, opportunity for advancement, and benefits. But these people are hard to find. So from my perspective, I do see a shortage. 

Its one thing not to know. Its another not to know you don't know.

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Posted : December 5, 2017 2:58 am
abw
 abw
(@abw)
50+ posts Registered

Everytime someone on these threads says "and am I said to say I know there are even some registered folks out there making $ amount", I get to raise my hand and say, "hey, that's me!"

I could probably make more by doing switching companies over and over again and getting "hired up", but I value aspects of my current personal life a little more right now. Point is, though, a lot of us wouldn't have to do the "hire up" thing if some basic principles and self respect were restablished in this field. 

The solution to get more people is to pay them more, which stems from charging what we are worth. I'll add this: if you want to KEEP people in this profession we need to pay more. I'm not asking for yachts. I'm saying let's make the liability of that stamp worth it. Let's rid this attitude of self-infliction and rebrainwash ourselves. 

As far as the good help is hard to find scenario, I am loosing patience with these people younger than me...and that is a cultural problem in this country that is not necessarily our profession's fault. Everytime they catch an attitude, I start fantasizing about mandatory military service for high school graduates😜  

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Posted : December 5, 2017 3:30 am BushAxe and C.Tompkins liked
abw
 abw
(@abw)
50+ posts Registered

Everytime someone on these threads says "and am I sad to say I know there are even some registered folks out there making $ amount", I get to raise my hand and say, "hey, that's me!"

I could probably make more by doing switching companies over and over again and getting "hired up", but I value aspects of my current personal life a little more right now. Point is, though, a lot of us wouldn't have to do the "hire up" thing if some basic principles and self respect were restablished in this field. 

The solution to get more people is to pay them more, which stems from charging what we are worth. I'll add this: if you want to KEEP people in this profession we need to pay more. I'm not asking for yachts. I'm saying let's make the liability of that stamp worth it. Let's rid this attitude of self-infliction and rebrainwash ourselves. 

As far as the good help is hard to find scenario, I am loosing patience with these people younger than me...and that is a cultural problem in this country that is not necessarily our profession's fault. Everytime they catch an attitude, I start fantasizing about mandatory military service for high school graduates😜  

ReplyQuote
Posted : December 5, 2017 3:33 am
James Fleming
(@james-fleming)
2,500+ posts Registered
Posted by: BushAxe

I can’t seem to fnd any help that has any education in land surveying. Plenty of applicants. But I want to hire someone who is interested in working toward a PLS, good pay, opportunity for advancement, and benefits. But these people are hard to find. So from my perspective, I do see a shortage. 

I don't think we underpay in this market (around $18/hour to start with no experience or survey education; low $20's/hour with a degree, crew chief LSITs in their mid to late 20's with a degree and four -six  years experience getting ready to sit for the PLS making $60,000+) and we still can't find decent employees, especially with a educational background in surveying.  I've had to hire guys with surveying degrees from Europe, Australia, etc. or "convert' guys with degrees in environmental science, engineering, etc. just to get staff with post-secondary education.     

 

 

“Nothing grows old-fashioned so fast as modernity.”
― Robertson Davies

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Posted : December 5, 2017 5:43 am BushAxe liked
Tommy Young
(@tommy-young)
1,000+ posts Registered
Posted by: Just A. Surveyor

 

Well dammit we know how to survey, at least most of us, we don't need more classes teaching us how to interpret a deed from preacher man Jeff Lucas.

Unfortunately, there are lots of surveyors that need to hear Jeff.

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Posted : December 5, 2017 6:46 am half bubble and Rick Taylor liked
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