FAQ: How to Become a Licensed Surveyor

I already have a four-year degree, but not in geomatics. Do I have to go back to school? Do I meet the requirements for a licensure? 

In review of Florida Statute 472.013, if you have a 4 year degree in a course of study other than Surveying and Mapping, then you have to complete 25 semester hours in surveying related coursework. You can obtain these requirements through online certificate programs at the Florida Atlantic University or the University of Florida. Additional experience requirements include having 6 years of experience as a subordinate to a Licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper. Five of those years have to show that your were in responsible charge. Responsible charge refers to working as a subordinate to a Licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper and indicates that a degreed student has been responsible for the accuracy and correctness of the surveying and mapping work performed.

What type of degree do I need?

According to Florida Statute 472.013, to become a licensed professional, you must have a degree in surveying and mapping of 4 years or more from an accredited college or university program. You can meet these requirements by obtaining a degree in Geomatics from the University of Florida/School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) or from Florida Atlantic University College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Engineering program. In addition to the degree there is an experience requirement of 4 years of responsible charge. Responsible charge refers to working as a subordinate to a Licensed Professional Surveyor and Mapper and indicates that a degreed student has been responsible for the accuracy and correctness of the surveying and mapping work performed.

I've been surveying for a number of years and would like to become licensed but I can't move to Gainesville. What can I do?

Both FAU and UF have ABET accredited Geomatics programs. The University of Florida/IFAS has expanded the Geomatics Program to be offered at 2 satellite campuses, in Plant City and in Ft. Lauderdale/Davie, and the FAU Geomatics program has campuses in Boca Raton and Jupiter. Each campus has very knowledgeable and helpful Geomatics Program Coordinators to help answer any questions you might have.

If any of these campuses are not convenient, there is still an opportunity to obtain your degree. With the creation of the satellite campuses, online courses have been developed. Now, many of the required courses will be available to you online through distance learning.

Geomatics at University of Florida

The Geomatics Program at the University of Florida is the oldest program of its kind in the south-eastern United States. Students have the opportunity to pursue a BS in Geomatics, an MS with a concentration in Geomatics or a PhD. The Bachelor’s Program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).

The Geomatics Program in the University of Florida is available at three locations in the state- on the main campus in Gainesville, at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) or at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Plant City. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Geomatics may attend at any of the locations. For more information visit http://sfrc.ifas.ufl.edu/geomatics/.

The University of Florida offers an online Certificate in Geomatics. The program is appropriate for surveyors and mappers in training, new graduates, or working professionals interested in a career in the fields of geomatics - surveying, mapping, GIS, and photogrammetry. To learn more visit http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/gemcertificate/.

Graduates are in demand and can expect:

  • Starting salaries at $40,000
  • Approximately 70% of graduates become a partner in a firm or own their own firm within five to seven years.

Geomatics Engineering at Florida Atlantic University

Broadly stated, Geomatics Engineering is the discipline that applies engineering principles to Surveying and Mapping in a Digital World.

What is Geomatics Engineering? 

Geomatics is a new term incorporating what used to be called "surveying" along with many other aspects of spatial data (information that has a location) management. The nature of the tasks required of the Professional Land Surveyor has evolved and the term "surveying" alone does not accurately describe the whole range of tasks that the profession deals with.

Therefore, the Geomatics Engineer can be involved in an extremely wide variety of information gathering activities and applications. Geomatics Engineers design, develop, and operate systems for collecting and analyzing spatial information about the land, the oceans, natural resources, and manmade features. The more traditional land surveying strand of Geomatics Engineering is concerned with the determination and recording of boundaries and areas of real property parcels, and the preparation and interpretation of legal land descriptions. The tasks more closely related to Civil Engineering, include the design and layout of public infrastructure and urban subdivisions, and mapping and control surveys for construction projects.

Geomatics Engineers utilize a wide range of technologically advanced tools like digital total stations, Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment, digital aerial imagery (both satellite and air-borne), and computer-based geographic information systems (GIS). These tools enable the Geomatics Engineer to gather, analyze, and manage spatially related information to solve a wide range of technical and societal problems. Geomatics Engineering is an exciting and new grouping of subjects in the spatial and environmental information sciences with a broad range of employment opportunities - and offers challenging research problems in a vast range of interdisciplinary fields.

The FAU Bachelor of Science in Geomatics Engineering program is a unique ABET accredited program and is the only Geomatics Engineering program currently being offered in the South East region.  FAU Geomatics Engineering started the Fall 2007 semester and was created, in part, in response to the 2005 change in Florida Statutes requiring that individuals seeking state licensure as professional land surveyors be trained at the baccalaureate level. Faculty and staff headquartered at the FAU Boca Raton campus have the ability to deliver the program throughout South Florida.

Many potential students, in addition to the full time undergraduate student, are working professionals with two-year degrees or degrees in other fields, seeking to upgrade their professional skills and are unable to attend classes during normal working hours. To meet this need, the College of Engineering & Computer Science offers upper-level courses in a blended system of delivery that best fits the requirements of each course, and the needs of students. Courses may be totally online, or broadcast live to one or more of the seven FAU campuses, or be a combination of both course delivery techniques.

For more information, visit the Geomatics Engineering at FAU Web site http://www.cege.fau.edu/.

 

How do I become an office or field technician?

There is also a tremendous need for field and office technicians in the Surveying and Mapping industry as well as licensed professionals. There are wonderful opportunities for Survey Field Technicians, including job advancement and competitive pay.

If you are adventurous and enjoy the outdoors or like computers and have an interest in computer drafting, these are great career paths for you!

Florida Training Services, Inc. (FTS)

A new Surveying and Mapping Technicians Career Development Program has been created by FTS Inc. to provide surveying firms with a means to train existing and future workforce. This program was developed by Dwight Foster to provide survey firms with a means to train their existing and future workforce. This formal educational program will provide the technician with training that will lead to career advancement and documented credentials.

This is a Registered Apprenticeship Program which has tailored its curriculum to provide broad education of Surveying and Mapping but also to help prepare the individual for the Certified Survey Technician (CST) testing. Learn more by visiting http://floridatrainingservices.com/programs/.