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Hello everyone! Looking to get into residential surveying  

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SCarolina
(@scarolina)
FNG Member

Hey guys,

Ever since I purchased my first house and had to hire a surveyor, I've been interested in possibly doing this myself. The thought of working outside on own without someone micromanaging me every 15 minutes is very appealing to me. I would love to learn more about residential surveying and how I can get started. Main questions are there specific books you guys recommend I pick up? My second question what it the best way to get experience? My initial thought was to contact companies around my area and see if I can get some part time work on the weekends as an entry level survey crew member. I wouldn't be able to do this full time since the entry level positions are around 24-30k a year which would be hard to survive off of so I would need to keep my regular office job till I'm skilled enough to be a survey crew member or knowledgable enough to start my own surveying business. Thanks for your help!

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Posted : February 10, 2019 5:13 pm
Dallas Morlan
(@dallas-morlan)
500+ posts Member

I am from Ohio and not an expert on Professional Land Surveying in your state, your profile indicates that is South Carolina.  You should verify the information provided below with a local Professional Surveyor. 

A few minutes research provided me with links to the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors.  That site provides information on Professional Surveyor license requirements. I believe that running your own surveying business will require you to qualify for a Professional Surveying "TIER A" license.

The Laws and Policies link at right of the above page includes a link to "Engineers & Surveyors Statute (Effective March 2018)" the current law.  That link opens a 23 page pdf file containing the license requirements.  The definitions section makes clear the difference between TIER A and TIER B licenses.  The section that defines the TIER A requirements is on page 14, "SECTION 40-22-225. Eligibility requirements for license as surveyor."  As I read this the requirement is a very specific four year college degree, two examinations and four years of experience under the supervision of a currently licensed Professional Surveyor.

Dallas P. Morlan, P.S. (Retired), OH, WV

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Posted : February 10, 2019 9:22 pm FL/GA PLS. liked
Rods_n_Stones
(@rods_n_stones)
FNG Member

Welcome, it is always good to see interest in our profession. I will begin by agreeing with Dallas, begin by knowing what the qualifications are for your state. Now, that being said, you do not need to have a license to become a "surveyor" but you do to become a "Surveyor". Our profession is unique among the technical professions and is truly a combination of many disciplines. Among others, to be a competent Surveyor, you must be a historian, lawyer, communicator, student, problem solver, mediator, engineer, etc. the list goes on. I have been in the profession for 20 years and I am constantly learning something new. Being a Surveyor is not a trade, it is a Profession, and an advanced one at that. If you are truly serious about becoming a Surveyor, research your states specific requirements, figure out what skills you already possess might be applicable and find a local Surveyor who is willing to sit down and discuss the profession with you. If that proves difficult, look up your states Society of Land Surveyors or Professional Surveyors, they generally have someone who can help.

 

 

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Posted : February 11, 2019 8:44 am
Norman Oklahoma
(@norman-oklahoma)
2,500+ posts Member

I think that once you see what it takes to become a land surveyor you will have a greater appreciation for why your survey cost what it did. Your self imposed limitations (part time commitment, entry level salary expectations) pretty much preclude you ever getting into this profession. Sorry, that's the way it is.  It's not rocket science, but there is a significant B.O.K. to be acquired before you start making better than grunt labor wages. 

"Convention is like the shell to the chick, a protection till he is strong enough to break it through." Learned Hand

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Posted : February 11, 2019 8:53 am RADAR, Williwaw and paden cash liked
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member

Rocket science? Yes, that's simple. Every survey is a new invention.

N

Surveying is more than a Job----it is a passion to provide a foundation for future generation, that is beyond reproach.

Nate

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Posted : February 11, 2019 9:43 am
Duane Frymire
(@duane-frymire)
1,000+ posts Member

I recommend you pick up a good novel and read it on your time off on the weekends:)

 

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Posted : February 11, 2019 10:06 am Brad Ott and Dan B. Robison liked

Precision Geosystems, Where Precision Meets Value.

Bill93
(@bill93)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: SCarolina

are there specific books you guys recommend I pick up?

A generally recommended textbook is Elementary Surveying by Wolf and Ghilani (any recent edition).  It will give you an idea of how much there is to learn on the technical side.  Then you need the boundary law side.

Do some more reading on this forum to get a feel for what surveyors deal with and worry about.

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Posted : February 11, 2019 10:27 am
Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

Occasionally I have to remind some people that in order to obtain my license I had to attend several years of advanced studies at a university and work under the supervision of many different surveyors, all of which took more than eight years, or roughly the equivalent amount of time required to become a doctor.  

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

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Posted : February 11, 2019 10:57 am RADAR liked
Duane Frymire
(@duane-frymire)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: Williwaw

Occasionally I have to remind some people that in order to obtain my license I had to attend several years of advanced studies at a university and work under the supervision of many different surveyors, all of which took more than eight years, or roughly the equivalent amount of time required to become a doctor.  

Well sure, but you get paid a lot more than Doctors.

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Posted : February 11, 2019 1:33 pm Sergeant Schultz and Rankin_File liked
Dallas Morlan
(@dallas-morlan)
500+ posts Member
Posted by: Duane Frymire

Well sure, but you get paid a lot more than Doctors.

Duane you just proved we still need the sarcasm font.  A statement like that will mislead the original poster.

Dallas P. Morlan, P.S. (Retired), OH, WV

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Posted : February 11, 2019 1:56 pm Rankin_File and Bill93 liked
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Member
Posted by: Williwaw

Occasionally I have to remind some people that in order to obtain my license I had to attend several years of advanced studies at a university and work under the supervision of many different surveyors, all of which took more than eight years, or roughly the equivalent amount of time required to become a doctor.  

I never made this much money when I was a doctor... 😉

This post was modified 1 week ago by paden cash

“Owning a great golf course gives you great power."
- 45th. President of the United States

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Posted : February 11, 2019 2:13 pm FrozenNorth, Rankin_File and Dave Karoly liked
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member

No sarcasm there. My 1975 dodge dart does need a clutch though!

N

Surveying is more than a Job----it is a passion to provide a foundation for future generation, that is beyond reproach.

Nate

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Posted : February 11, 2019 2:22 pm

Javad GNSS

Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: paden cash
Posted by: Williwaw

Occasionally I have to remind some people that in order to obtain my license I had to attend several years of advanced studies at a university and work under the supervision of many different surveyors, all of which took more than eight years, or roughly the equivalent amount of time required to become a doctor.  

 

I never made this much money when I was a doctor... 😉

I only started making more when doctors started under cutting each other on the price of prostate exams. 

This post was modified 1 week ago by Williwaw

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

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Posted : February 11, 2019 2:25 pm FrozenNorth and paden cash liked
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member
Posted by: Williwaw
Posted by: paden cash
Posted by: Williwaw

Occasionally I have to remind some people that in order to obtain my license I had to attend several years of advanced studies at a university and work under the supervision of many different surveyors, all of which took more than eight years, or roughly the equivalent amount of time required to become a doctor.  

 

I never made this much money when I was a doctor... 😉

I only started making more when doctors started under cutting each other on the price of prostate exams. 

Just call the Doctors office and ask for a Prostate "Update", no need to go in and get digitally explored.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? -1 Corinthians 15:55

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Posted : February 11, 2019 3:34 pm WorkerBee and Jim Frame liked
Jim Frame
(@jim-frame)
5,000+ posts Member

Just call the Doctors office and ask for a Prostate "Update", no need to go in and get digitally explored.

My doc said that they (Kaiser, a large HMO) no longer recommend routine digital rectal exams.  However, that's how my brother's prostate cancer was detected, so I asked to get one anyway.  (As silly as it sounds, asking a guy to stick his finger up your butt doesn't come easily, even when it's your doc.)  It's hardly a pleasant experience, but the results were comforting.

Jim Frame
Frame Surveying & Mapping
609 A Street
Davis, CA 95616
framesurveying.com

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Posted : February 11, 2019 3:38 pm Brad Ott liked
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