Surveying Roles

Surveyors can take on many different tasks and roles during their careers, depending on their qualifications and level of experience.

Surveying students at Tafe and University are able to get a taste of what Surveying is really like by starting out as a Survey Assistant during their study. Tafe students can then move into a Surveying Technician/Draftsperson role once they are qualified, whilst those in University complete their degree as a graduate Surveyor, some choosing to specialise in other related fields like Geospatial Information Systems.

Graduate Surveyors can further their career opportunities and remuneration by undertaking a professional training agreement to become a Licensed Surveyor.

Licensed/Registered Surveyor

Typical Salary: Start from $90,000 + vehicle
Study: Undergraduate degree + Postgraduate degree + Professional Training Agreement

A Licensed or Registered Surveyor is the only person who is legally authorised to perform Land or Cadastral Surveying and sign-off on projects.

They perform the following tasks:

  • Apply the laws & procedures relating to land ownership, boundaries and titles when undertaking Surveying work
  • Accurately map out positions of boundaries where land is subdivided, bought or sold
  • Study the natural and urban environment
  • Plan and provide critical advice for project developments in land and buildings
  • Manage projects from planning approval through construction for land development in urban, rural and regional areas
  • Utilise cutting-edge technology such as GPS and laser technology to measure angles and distances on the land.

Read about Tom’s journey to become a newly Licensed Surveyor, and Joe’s unique experience surveying the outback.

Surveyor_Graduate SurveyorSurveyor / Graduate Surveyor

Typical Salary: Start from $55,000 (plus use of a vehicle within 6 months)
Study: Undergraduate degree/Postgraduate degree

Surveyors perform the following tasks:

  • Measure the size & shape of an area of land
  • Work out the position of boundaries of public or private land
  • Study the natural and natural environment
  • Physically set out land and building developments

Surveyors work in many related fields such as cartography, geographic information systems (GIS) or remote sensing Surveying or as project managers.

Find out why Elaine decided to become a surveyor.

Surveying Technician_DraftspersonSurveying Technician / Draftsperson

Typical Salary: 5 years experience $64,000 (Technician may also have use of vehicle)
Study: Tafe or VET Diploma

Surveying technicians collect, analyse data and develop plans for land Surveyors to provide the basic information required for a Surveying project. Surveying technicians do the following:

  • Take measurements/collect information using high tech equipment.
  • Analyse survey data and make calculations
  • Draft plans, & plot data using computer software
  • Set out reference points on mining and construction activities

Surveying technicians are involved in various projects such as survey drafting, photogrammetry, mining, land development or engineering and construction Surveying.

Survey Assistant

Typical Salary: $42,000
Study: Tafe or VET Certificate III (Traineeship)

Survey assistants help Surveyors undertake Surveying projects. They may do the following tasks:

  • Maintain and use Surveying equipment
  • Assist Surveyors in taking measurements
  • Record measurements manually or electronically
  • Peg out boundaries

Find out more about Lucas’ journey to become a Survey Assistant in this video

Other related fields


Spatial CoodinatorSpatial Coordinator

Spatial Information Professionals specialise in the collection and analysis of location specific data about populations, land use etc. They perform the following tasks:

  • Produce paper and electronic maps using a variety of software.
  • Take part in design and management of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • Design interactive mapping products for computer systems and the web.
  • Work with Cartographic Technicians and other production team members.

GIS AnalystGIS Analyst

GIS Analysts analyse and provide technical support to help environmental management, exploration and mining, land ownership titles and urban & regional planning. They perform the following tasks:

  • Undertake complex computer functions such as 3D modeling to create visual representations of data.
  • Use GIS software and processes to performing Spatial Analysis in order to produce data layers, map tables and reports.
  • Prepare technical documents, reports and summaries using GIS applications.
  • Carry out quality control on final data.

GIS officer, Graduate (GIS) & GIS Assistant

GIS professionals develop and customise geographic information systems (GIS).
They can do the following:

  • Map physical and manmade features
  • Take measurements & make observations from aerial photographs
  • Create complex models to assist Councils, Government and land professionals
  • Study the natural and urban environment
  • Store data in geographic information systems (GIS)

Watch this video to find out more about studying Geospatial Science.