Surveying is an oft-overlooked profession, but it is one that can offer a lot to the right person.
To the maths- and science-loving student, it’s proof that there is a practical application for their favoured subjects. Young people who love the great outdoors and like the idea of having a variety of workplaces, surveying is a perfect match. For those putting job security at the top of the wish list as they leave school, there are few better choices than picking up a theodolite and drone.
While there are many reasons that school leavers are turning to surveying, today we’re going to focus in on just one: the surveyor’s starting salary.
Just the facts
So what exactly is can surveyors expect to earn throughout their career?
Looking over the most up-to-date census data begins to paint a picture. The average earnings for a surveyor working full-time is $1,798 per week – approximately $93,500 per annum, and a full 9.6% higher than all occupations’ average earnings. Looking just at young workers in the surveying industry, and specifically those aged 15 to 29, they earn 30% higher than those in other professions.
As they progress through their careers, surveyors can continue to expect significant remuneration. Approximately 63% of surveyors bank above $78,000 per year, against 39% of all jobs.
The question then becomes, what are the reasons for this favourable job market?
A shortage that won’t short-change you
In order to understand why workers stepping into the surveying profession can expect a starting salary higher than the national average, we have to turn to the research.
At the behest of ACS National, BIS Oxford Economics in March 2019 released a new report titled, ‘Determining the Future Demand, Supply and Skills Gap for Surveying and Geospatial Professionals 2018-2028’. As part of this document’s deep dive into the surveying industry, it outlines in black and white the why, how and what of the surveying profession’s financial security.
The report was commissioned in part to investigate the skills shortage that the surveying profession has been undergoing for a number of years now. This shortfall is significant – currently there are 8,172 surveying professionals in Australia but demand is there for 9,125, and those numbers are forecast to shift depending on a number of market forces – and it has a number of knock-on effects. Salaries are of course one of them; these wages reflect this ongoing demand, as well as the skills required to fulfil surveying roles.
The work ahead
Like any other profession, surveying rewards hard work. And while it is true that starting salaries in this field are amongst the best available, tenacity and knowledge are key to a successful career in this rewarding and engaging field of employment.
If you would like to learn more about the BIS Oxford Economics Demand Study, you can do so here. Otherwise, you can investigate your studying options here then move on to your state’s individual study pages covering New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.