Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
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Overview
Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries. They provide data relevant to the shape and contour of the Earth’s surface for engineering, mapmaking, and construction projects.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for surveyors are expected to grow by 11%, and should have about 3,800 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Surveyors are less likely to be automated than 63% of other careers.
Workforce size
Surveyors, with 44,800 workers, are near the middle of all careers in the number employed.
Education
About 79% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists have bachelor's degrees than 85% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for surveyors is higher than 70% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most surveyors.
This job's median $63KAll jobs' median $39K$61K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 20% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists -- that's a smaller percentage than 63% of other jobs.
Gender of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, the median men's salary was 16% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 8% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists are minority, and 7% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (7%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Surveyors per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 59% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, and 57% have company-sponsored health insurance (19% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 80% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of surveyors who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (55%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (52%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (42%)
  • Consequence of Error (37%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, which combines the data for 2 careers, including surveyors. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for surveyors, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for surveyors compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for surveyors (BLS Salary Data)
$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists (ACS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where surveyors work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists (ACS)
Private for-profit (56.6%)
Private not-for-profit (2.8%)
Local government (12.4%)
State government (8.5%)
Federal government (11.3%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (4.1%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$57K$57K$62K$70K$55K$57K$48K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of surveyors by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty surveyors, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$63K$88K$66K$62K$76K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$54K$58K$64K$64K$47K$60K$29K$77K$63K$0$50K$100K$150KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4K5KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists and gender

With 20% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 63% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
Men (80%)
Women (20%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, with the median salary for men 16% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$51K$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 46% of other jobs.

16%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists than for 97% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
White (90% )
Black (3% )
Asian (3% )
Other (1% )
Multiracial (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
7%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$54K$56K$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KBlackAsianWhite
Distribution: Salaries for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists by nativity
$56K$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by surveyors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), surveyors typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists.

Education attained by surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for surveyors

Surveyors typically need a bachelor’s degree because they work with sophisticated technology and math. Some colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs specifically designed to prepare students to become licensed surveyors. Many states require individuals who want to become licensed surveyors to have a bachelor’s degree from a school accredited by ABET. A bachelor’s degree in a closely related field, such as civil engineering or forestry, is sometimes acceptable as well. An associate’s degree may be sufficient in some cases with additional training.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for surveyors

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require surveyors to be licensed before they can certify legal documents that show property lines or determine proper markings on construction projects. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree usually must work for several years under the direction of a licensed surveyor in order to qualify for licensure.

Although the process of obtaining a license varies by state, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying has a generalized process of four steps:

    1. Complete the level of education required in your state
    2. Pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam
    3. Gain sufficient work experience under a licensed surveyor
    4. Pass the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam

 

Most states also have continuing education requirements for surveyors to maintain their license.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists? Below we see the distribution of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$67K$47K$51K$57K$63K$67K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KHigh School (2%)Some College (12%)Associate's Degree (6%)Bachelor's Degree (64%)Master's Degree (12%)Professional Deg/Doct (2%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists

This table shows the college majors held by people working as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
19.1%
$0$200K$61K
5.5%
$0$200K$83K
3.6%
$0$200K$80K
2.9%
$0$200K$63K
2.3%
$0$200K$60K
2.0%
$0$200K$89K
1.9%
$0$200K$63K
1.8%
$0$200K$66K
1.7%
$0$200K$56K
1.4%
$0$200K$97K
1.3%
$0$200K$53K
1.2%
$0$200K$63K
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Specialized Program in Engineering TechnologiesManagers (specialized areas)Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetristsComputer occupations (specialized areas)Elementary and middle school teachersPostsecondary teachersApplications and systems software developersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersUrban and regional plannersManagement analystsWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesBiological scientistsConservation scientists and forestersEnvironmental scientists and geoscientistsFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersPolice officersCivil engineersEngineers (specialized areas)Construction managersChief executives and legislatorsArchitectural and engineering managersFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersDesignersAccountants and auditorsFinancial managersSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersMechanical engineersElectrical and electronics engineersIndustrial engineersAerospace engineersPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Physicians and surgeonsLawyers, judges, and magistratesSecondary school teachersRetail salespersonsEducation administratorsGeographyNatural ResourcesManagementCivil EngineeringBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral EngineeringGeology and Earth ScienceGeneral BusinessSpecialized Program inEngineeringHistoryAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists

What jobs will most surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetristsSurveying and mapping techniciansManagers (specialized areas)Computer occupations (specialized areas)Civil engineersReceptionists and information clerksComputer systems analystsTaxi drivers and chauffeursFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersWriters and authorsMetal and plastic workersCustomer service representativesComputer programmersCost estimatorsChief executives and legislatorsPest control workersChemical engineersPhysical scientists (specialized areas)RoofersShipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 4 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists as well as 1% of respondents after working as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Civil engineers
25,900
$0$200K$81K
Computer occupations (specialized areas)
22,500
$0$200K$68K
Surveying and mapping technicians
7,300
$0$200K$47K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Waiters and waitresses
522,900
$0$200K$21K
1.2%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
1.6%
Cooks
358,700
$0$200K$21K
1.4%
Janitors and building cleaners
350,300
$0$200K$27K
1.4%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
6.5%
Designers
61,700
$0$200K$51K
1.2%
Real estate brokers and sales agents
46,100
$0$200K$50K
1.5%
Production, planning, and expediting clerks
35,500
$0$200K$45K
2.8%
Paralegals and legal assistants
34,800
$0$200K$47K
1.4%
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
1.3%
Network and computer systems administrators
27,000
$0$200K$71K
1.3%
Compliance officers
26,000
$0$200K$65K
2.1%
Civil engineers
25,900
$0$200K$81K
3.8%
Interviewers
24,300
$0$200K$32K
2.3%
Computer occupations (specialized areas)
22,500
$0$200K$68K
1.9%
Data entry keyers
16,800
$0$200K$31K
1.3%
File clerks
14,200
$0$200K$32K
1.0%
Environmental scientists and geoscientists
13,900
$0$200K$70K
1.5%
Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (specialized areas)
11,400
$0$200K$54K
1.1%
Surveying and mapping technicians
7,300
$0$200K$47K
15.0%
Read about surveyors
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Surveyors typically do the following:

  • Measure distances and angles between points on, above, and below the Earth’s surface
  • Travel to locations and use known reference points to determine the exact location of important features
  • Research land records, survey records, and land titles
  • Look for evidence of previous boundaries to determine where boundary lines are located
  • Record the results of surveying and verify the accuracy of data
  • Prepare plots, maps, and reports
  • Present findings to clients and government agencies
  • Establish official land and water boundaries for deeds, leases, and other legal documents and testify in court regarding survey work

Surveyors mark and document the location of legal property lines. For example, when a house or commercial building is bought or sold, surveyors may mark property boundaries to prevent or resolve disputes. They use a variety of measuring equipment depending upon the type of survey.

When taking measurements in the field, surveyors make use of the Global Positioning System (GPS), a system of satellites that locates reference points with a high degree of precision. Surveyors use handheld GPS units and automated systems known as robotic total stations to collect relevant information about the terrain they are surveying. Surveyors then interpret and verify the results on a computer.

Surveyors also use Geographic Information Systems (GIS)—technology that allows surveyors to present spatial information visually as maps, reports, and charts. For example, a surveyor can overlay aerial or satellite images with GIS data, such as tree density in a given region, and create digital maps. They then use the results to advise governments and businesses on where to plan homes, roads, and landfills.

Although advances in surveying technology now allow many jobs to be performed by just one surveyor, other jobs may be performed by a crew, consisting of a licensed surveyor and trained surveying technicians. The person in charge of the crew, known as the party chief, may be either a surveyor or a senior surveying technician. The party chief leads day-to-day work activities.

Surveyors also work with civil engineers, landscape architects, cartographers and photogrammetrists, and urban and regional planners to develop comprehensive design documents.

The following are examples of types of surveyors:

Boundary or land surveyors determine the legal property lines and help determine the exact locations of real estate and construction projects.

Engineering or construction surveyors determine the precise location of roads or buildings and proper depths for building foundations. They show changes to the property line and indicate potential restrictions on the property, such as what can be built on it and how large the structure can be. They also may survey the grade and topography of roads.

Forensic surveyors survey and record accident scenes for potential landscape effects.

Geodetic surveyors use high-accuracy technology, including aerial and satellite observations, to measure large areas of the Earth’s surface.

Marine or hydrographic surveyors survey harbors, rivers, and other bodies of water to determine shorelines, the topography of the floor, water depth, and other features.

Mine surveyors survey and map the tunnels in an underground mine. They survey surface mines to determine the volume of materials mined.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of surveyors? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Surveyors must provide clear instructions to team members, clients, and government officials. They also must be able to follow instructions from <a href="/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm"><u>architects</u></a> and <a href="/ooh/management/construction-managers.htm"><u>construction managers</u></a>, and explain the job’s progress to developers, <a href="/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm"><u>lawyers</u></a>, financiers, and government authorities.
Detail oriented
Surveyors must work with precision and accuracy because they produce legally binding documents.
Physical stamina
Surveyors traditionally work outdoors, often in rugged terrain. They must be able to walk long distances and for long periods.
Problem-solving skills
Surveyors must figure out discrepancies between documents showing property lines and current conditions on the land. If there were changes in previous years, they must discover the reason behind them and reestablish property lines.
Time-management skills
Surveyors must be able to effectively plan their time and their team members’ time on the job. This is critical when pressing deadlines exist or while working outside during winter months when daylight hours are short.
Visualization skills
Surveyors must be able to envision new buildings and altered terrain.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for surveyors
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for surveyors was higher than 70% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $63KAll jobs' median $39K$57K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for surveyors are anticipated to grow by 11% over the next decade; only 23% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for surveyors is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030020,00040,00060,00080,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most surveyors? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as surveyors. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Surveyors per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where surveyors earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Surveyors to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which surveyors earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests and Salary (All education levels)
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