/What is a Licensed Land Surveyor?

What is a Licensed Land Surveyor?

Those that are not intimate with the land surveying world have often asked what it means to be licensed or certified to be a land surveyor. In the state of New York, anyone who wishes to call themselves a land surveyor has to go through a long process of multiple tests to confirm that you have the technical knowledge to perform the tasks. Strangely enough though, the longest process for receiving your certification is not necessarily the license but the education and experience requirements that are necessary for the license.

In the state of New York, anyone who wants to be a licensed land surveyor has to meet the following requirements:

  1. Good Moral Character
  2. At least 21 Years Old
  3. Meet Education Requirements
  4. Meet Examination Requirements
  5. Meet Experience Requirements

In addition, there is a fee for submitting an application to be reviewed for the license. The examination is split into three parts. One part handles the fundamentals of being a land surveyor, the next deals with following the practices of being a land surveyor and the last is a New York specific exam.

The exams themselves are not too difficult as long as you’ve had the training around it, which is where the education and experience requirements come in. In total, you need 8 years of experience, or, education and experience in land surveying before you can apply for admittance to the license exam through the New York State Department of Education. This does include any work you made toward a bachelors, masters, or other degree so long as it was in a field used by Land Surveyors. If you are unsure if your degree counts, then it is unlikely it will, as they tend to be rather specific that surveying be involved in your degree, such as a bachelors in Surveying Engineering.

As for the experience, the majority of the experience must be involved with boundary determination as well as in supervisory position. In order for your experience to be accepted, it must be under the direction of a licensed land surveyor who will be asked to attest to your experience. Think of it like a mentorship program to make sure you are knowledgeable ahead of time.

If you’d like to know more information you can contact your local land surveying office for New York, or any other state you happen to be in. The process may be long, but it can be rather rewarding, as it is a stable market. And this process is something we make sure all our land surveyors have gone through, leaving only the finest land surveyors to offer.


  1. Stephen Brown August 11, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I didn’t know that 8 years of experience can serve as a substitute for a degree when applying for land surveying certification. This is great for those individuals in a family business that learned the trade on the job. Thanks for clearly explaining what kind of character and expertise is required to become a member of this profession.

  2. Kyle Ross August 19, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I find it interesting that good moral character is a requirement to become a certified land surveyor. I think that is a great thing to have as a qualification, and it makes me more confident in the services of a land surveyor. How do they determine if an individual has good moral character to become a certified surveyor?

  3. Julie Myers August 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    It sounds to me like surveyors go through quite a bit of training to be able to work as a surveyor. This is good to know, especially since they help do so many things to make sure that land is in good condition. I was hoping to get some land surveyed soon to see if I can build an office building on it, so I would really like to find someone that has met all the educational requirements. That way, I can make sure that it is done well.

  4. Deanna R. Jones August 31, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for the information! Knowing what’s involved in land surveying will help me get started finding the right service. Reading the information about what qualifies a land surveyor as someone who’s experienced has shown me that it’s a bit different than I would have thought. I didn’t know that getting experience as a land surveyor means taking direction working under a licensed land surveyor, much like in a mentorship program. That seems like a good method for creating qualified, experienced professionals to help clients know more about the land they wish to purchase.

  5. Owen Camden September 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I had no idea that land surveyors had so many different tests and practices to go through before they can work. However, it makes sense why this would be necessary. This definitely seems like a hard job to do, with or without a solid background knowledge. This is one field of work that I would really like to learn more about.

  6. June Robinson September 24, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I really appreciate this information on land surveyors. I think understanding what it is a land surveyor does and what it takes to become one really helps me see why they are so beneficial. I find it interesting that employees have to meet certain requirements pertaining to education and experience. That helps me know they are really trained when they come to survey my land. Thanks for the information!

  7. Chris White September 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Good to know that there are certain requirements that land surveyors have to meet to become fully licensed. Not only is there these five thing that they have to follow, but there is also a fee for submitting an application as well. That way it will reviewed for the license. With them going about doing things this way, it makes sure that only the best are becoming licensed.

  8. Zach Potter October 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    As someone who is completely new to the term construction surveyor or land surveyor, this article was very helpful. I wonder if New York is a bit more strict than other places though? Not only am I doing more research for a class, I am also interested in a career maybe headed in this kind of direction. Are there any other jobs like land surveying out there that I could do more research on to get more general information to see if it really is something that I want to do?

  9. Nick Mallory October 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize that surveyors needed so much experience and training. Eight years is a lot! I’m glad to hear that they’re so competent, however. Determining who owns a parcel of land can be a huge deal, and wars have been fought over it.

  10. Jason Scott October 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I have always thought that being a land surveyor would be a great job. I would need to get the needed experience that you mentioned, but with the education and experience, I am sure I could pass the test. How do you initially get into land surveying?

  11. Zach Thalman October 9, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I always thought that surveyors were just taking pictures of the construction job. I didn’t know that they actually are doing more than that. Their job is probably one of the most important parts because they company hired them to make sure that everything is within their property.

  12. Jennifer Andrews October 10, 2015 at 2:46 am

    It’s hard to be comfortable hiring a professional that you haven’t had any experience with before. This post was great because the first requirement listed was that they had to be of good moral character. I’d like to think this is a requirement for most areas when becoming a land surveyor.

  13. Emily October 19, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    This was an informative article! The other day I met someone who was a land surveyor and it seemed interesting. I have been doing a little research since then. It is good to know that there you need education, a passing exam score and experience. I will have to keep that in mind!

  14. Kael Drake December 14, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I have a sibling that is interested in becoming a land surveyor, so I’m helping him do a bit of research about what he will need to do so. I personally found it interesting that land surveyors need to have a good moral character. I can imagine that it would be important for an employer to know that their employees are giving them the right information, making having a moral character a necessary requirement for the job. My sibling is very morally straight, so I know that he would fit in well with this job! I’ll make sure to pass this on to him! Thank you for the information!

  15. Kairi Gainsborough February 26, 2016 at 2:50 am

    The requirements necessary to become a land surveyor are quite reasonable. If I wanted to place a fence around my property, I would not settle for anything less than a professional with a good moral character and the right set of training. I will keep these things in mind for my next upcoming project.

  16. Braden Bills June 30, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I need a land surveyor. I think that would be a good idea so I can get a good idea about my property. I’ll make sure I get one who is licensed! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Kendall Ryder October 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I wouldn’t have thought a land surveyor had to be a certain age. That is good to know, just in case. I would hate to hire someone who is younger than twenty-one, only to realize they really can’t be working for me. If they look young, it would be good to ask their age before hiring!

  18. Braden Bills January 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I’ve always wondered what land surveyors are good at. It makes sense that they would need to be able to make note of specific things! That’s what makes them important, after all.

  19. Scott March 30, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I had no clue that you had to be at least 21 years old to be a land surveyor in New York. It makes says way this would be the minimum age considering all the training you’d have to go through in order to be licensed. I wonder if there is an age restriction in the state where I live in.

  20. Braden Bills April 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I want to make sure that I get the right property. It makes sense that having a professional surveyor look at it beforehand would be a good idea. It would be great to know exactly what I’m buying before I pay!

  21. Max June 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I’m glad that you talked about some of the requirements for boundary surveying and what it takes to be licensed. We’re going to have some boundary surveying done at our home before we call out a fencing contractor, and its good to have a little background knowledge of what it takes to be licensed. We want to make sure the person doing our boundary surveying is a professional, so being able to look out for someone who has completed all the requirements will be helpful!

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