Do you have a program in your area that allows high school students to learn more about their future career choices? If so, is surveying being represented as an interesting choice?
TradeUp! is a great example of just such a program located in Washington State.
In order to grow the profession and bring in new talent, it makes sense for experienced Land Surveyors to participate in local career path programs. The answer to both of the above questions should be a resounding YES. A surveying career can be rewarding and fun — I mean, c’mon, you get to work outdoors, participate in treasure hunts, and discover new pin cushions to share with your social networking pals. The most fun I ever had surveying was tracking down stones, blazes and brass caps from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Even newer monuments were fun simply because you had to research, investigate and hunt down these corners for a bounty.
Then there’s the construction side of things. I was never a big fan of construction staking, but there were moments that made it worthwhile. Dodging huge machinery, cussing loudly about destroyed control points, and calculating cut sheets on the hood of the truck are all tasks that can be frustrating in the moment. But there are those times when you’ve just laid out a huge parkway with super elevations — then stood back and admired the awesomeness of those pink-flagged rows of stakes — so majestic.
While I haven’t physically practiced the art of surveying for several years now, I miss it. I miss it a lot. Actually, I miss it a subdivision (see what I did there?). I think surveying is a profession that you put your heart into, and it’s difficult — if not impossible — to pull away from it at any point in your life. I mean, when you go on vacation and you barely get to do much sight-seeing because your head is always down looking for monuments… well, you must have found your career.
So let’s help these young’ns find the surveying career path by participating in our local job fairs and other programs that don’t currently represent surveying. Let’s be mentors. Let’s teach them the righteous path. Let’s show them the way.