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NOC Code: NOC Code: 2254 Occupation: Land Survey Technicians and Technologists
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Land survey technicians and technologists conduct or participate in surveys to determine the exact locations and relative positions of natural features and other structures on the earth's surface, underground and underwater. They are employed by all levels of government, architectural and engineering firms, and by private sector surveying establishments. Land survey technicians and technologists conduct or participate in surveys to determine the exact locations and relative positions of natural features and other structures on the earth's surface, underground and underwater. They are employed by all levels of government, architectural and engineering firms, and by private sector surveying establishments.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4 5
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read instructions and directions on job schedules and work orders. Use the information to set work schedules and determine what files and equipment to pack in the vehicle. (1)
  • Read notes and email from supervisors, co-workers and colleagues. The messages may provide or request information for specific surveying tasks such as instructions for completing surveys and details of work assignments. (2)
  • Read company bulletins and notices such as notices about upcoming training, new or modified safety procedures and computer software bulletins. (2)
  • Read technical information and instructions in equipment and safety manuals. For example, read troubleshooting procedures, installation and usage instructions in equipment manuals. Read instructions and guidelines in safety manuals when working around traffic, on construction sites and in isolated areas. The text supplements and explains corresponding tables, diagrams and pictorial instructions. (3)
  • Read zoning by-laws when preparing legal survey plans. For example, read municipal by-laws when surveying for new subdivisions to verify that property lines and the position of physical structures meet zoning requirements. You are required to understand legal and construction terminology, intent and scope of municipal by-laws. (3)
  • Read land title documents and field note entries. For example, read field note entries from previous surveys for descriptions of physical characteristics, and review land title documents for severance details when completing boundary retracement research. Use the information to make decisions about previous boundary lines. (3)
  • Read trade magazines and association newsletters such as Professional Surveyor, Links, and Scrivener to stay informed about surveying and construction issues, activities and new technologies. Apply the information to specific survey situations such as completing surveys on contaminated sites. (3)
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Writing
  • Write brief descriptions into field notebooks to describe and record observations and occurrences during surveys such as physical features, instruments used, difficulties, weather and the field crew involved in the surveying. Use the information to complete job quotes, enhance the pictorial and coordinate data in survey field notes and provide reminders for follow-up action. (1)
  • Write brief notes on survey plans and engineering drawings. For example, make comments about missing or incorrect data to maintain a record of what to change when updating survey plans. (1)
  • Write detailed letters and email to clients, managers and colleagues to share and request information. For example, write notes to the manager when summarizing details for job quotes, including outlines of surveying methodologies and descriptions of problems such as missing survey monuments. Write to customers to set-up appointments and detail additional work requirements because of unforeseen circumstances. (2)
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Document Use
  • Complete data sheets by entering monument or locator codes, measurement points and coordinate readings. (1)
  • Observe posted hazard, warning and caution signs at construction sites and on vehicles and equipment. (1)
  • Scan coding abbreviations lists, legends and labels on documents such as plans, drawings, maps and land titles. (1)
  • Scan job sheets and schedules to determine work location and job tasks. Use the information to decide what supplies, documents and equipment to pack for jobs. (2)
  • Enter surveying information such as dates, hours, dimensions, locations and brief surveying details onto reporting forms. Use the forms to record information, track job progress and submit for approval. Locate and summarize information from several sources when completing some of the forms. (2)
  • Scan data sheets and display screens on measuring devices for bearings, distances and elevations to verify data before inputting into drawings. For example, technologists review lot closure data sheets to input data into drawing programs. (2)
  • Review tables of longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates and elevation readings. For example, review tables of elevations readings to mark elevations on survey monuments. Read tables of longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates to determine the accuracy and establish survey measurements. (3)
  • Take information from scaled drawings. For example, take measurements from scaled survey drawings to place and confirm locations of property lines, buildings and other physical characteristics. Locate shallow utilities such as cable and telephone lines, water mains and gas lines from scaled drawings such as Utility Right-of-Way before placing survey monuments in the ground and to mark the locations on survey plans. (3)
  • Enter surveying data such as dimensions, bearings, distances, sketches, brief descriptive texts, dates and locations into field notes. The field notes detail and record fieldwork data, physical characteristics and other relevant information. Field notes provide explanatory details of survey plans. (3)
  • Locate and determine measurement specifications such as minimum measurement intervals from engineering or architectural specification sheets and drawings before completing fieldwork. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Use word processing software. For example, write letters and reports using basic font and page formatting features to complete them. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, load graphics such as scanned aerial photographs into the database. Resize, brighten or modify images using programs such as Photoshop. (2)
  • Use the Internet to complete historical research on properties. Access bookmarked sites and online property title searches. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. Use Geodimeter software to convert data from global positioning system receivers, total stations and geographical information systems into three-dimensional images in AutoCAD. Use ARCGIS to overlay aerial photographs and maps to export into AutoCAD. (3)
  • Send and receive email and attachments. Create folders to organize your mailbox and maintain address books and distribution lists. (3)
  • Import data from measuring instruments into formatted spreadsheet programs. Modify the spreadsheet by deleting or inserting rows and columns, use cut and paste to re-order data or link the attribute values to AutoCAD. (3)
  • Enter and access survey data from databases using features such as inputting, queries and downloading to manage and obtain survey coordinates data, maps and photographs. (3)
  • Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining. For example, create line drawings using survey points. Import data, plot survey points, insert text, and modify images and scaled drawings. Import and format text, text boxes and maps to add details to drawings for final survey plans. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Request services and supplies. For example, call surveyor offices for surveying records and field notes. Speak with co-workers for additional survey information and call land registry offices for historical information and land deeds. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss work processes, coordinate work schedules and address field and office concerns such as incomplete field notes. (2)
  • Provide directions, instructions and explanations to co-workers such as field crew and drafting technicians . For example, provide direction for completing surveys and assign work tasks to field crew, and additional information about survey sites to drafting technicians. (2)
  • Discuss survey tasks with the supervisor. For example, discuss surveying procedures through trees, placement of traverse points for future relocation of measurement points and reassignment of tasks. (2)
  • Communicate with co-workers to discuss surveying techniques and exchange opinions and information. For example, discuss difficult surveying tasks, surveying techniques and measurement data before beginning and during the course of surveys. Clear and concise communications is necessary to ensure you proceed correctly and obtain accurate measurement data. (3)
  • When carrying out surveys, talk to clients, property owners and general contractors and respond to their questions. In some cases, provide assurances to owners when negotiating access to their properties. Negotiate on-site surveying timeframes with general contractors to ensure safe access to sites. (3)
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Money Math
  • Take payments from clients for invoiced amounts. (1)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Prepare budgets for survey jobs. Calculate labour and equipment costs using established production rates per person and hourly cost per piece of equipment. (2)
  • Develop schedules and monitor the daily work tasks for survey and brush clearing crews. Consider staffing and equipment requirements and availabilities. Monitor time and equipment usage, and adjust activities to meet deadlines. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure and record the distance between two survey monuments and buildings using measuring instruments such as total stations, hand held lasers, theodolite systems and global positioning systems. (1)
  • Describe parcels of land and building units using information such as the dimensions, area, lot line directions, angles and elevations. (2)
  • Create manual and computer-assisted scale drawings using measurement tools such as scale rulers and bearing scales. (3)
  • Calculate the direction, angle and length of lines, often using principles of triangulation to stake out buildings to locate intersection points and to determine station coordinates. Calculate radii and arc angles of curves to place station coordinates on curved lots. Calculate excavation volumes using measurements of elevations at specified intervals. (4)
  • Complete indirect measurements and calculations that cannot be directly taken using principles of trigonometry and geometry. For example, use indirect measurements to determine angles and then use geometric formulae to calculate the slope, width and depth of neighbouring eavestroughing to determine encroachment measurements. (5)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare field measurements to previous surveyed measurements to verify accuracy of data. (1)
  • Average many readings and measurements such as heights, distances and elevations and coordinate readings to increase the accuracy of the data by evaluating the corresponding evidence between the readings and measurements. Use the data to draw conclusions about boundary line locations. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate location of monuments at a survey site using measurements and details on maps and survey plans and the physical characteristics and measurements at the survey site. (1)
  • Estimate the travel time to jobs by considering factors such as distances, weather and travel routes. (1)
  • Estimate the time to complete survey assignments of varying sizes and complexities using established survey standards and time rates. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Land survey technicians' and technologists' days are organized for them by their supervisors, or they schedule their own activities if they are self-employed. They perform their tasks according to the instructions and deadlines given by their supervisors. Their daily assignments vary in scope, location and size but the duties and tasks remain constant, dictated by established procedures. Many tasks, such as taking measurements and coordinate readings, preparing field notes, completing survey plans, reviewing drawings and boundary line evidences are repeated daily and weekly. They experience occasional interruptions to respond to unscheduled requests from supervisors who reassign tasks or jobs. Their work is team-oriented and they integrate their own tasks with other field crew. Senior land survey technologists often directly schedule the tasks and activities of field crew based on the job and crew expertise. They may plan and organize the work and activities for large surveying projects with multiple field crews. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide when to carry out survey activities in the field. Consider the coverage and accuracy provided by the global positioning systems at different times of the day, the weather and equipment availability. Errors in decisions can result in the inability to gather the necessary data. (2)
  • Decide what surveying methods and instruments to use. Consider the size of the areas, the terrain and level of measurement accuracy required. For example, decide the placement of equipment to maximize the number of readings at each location while minimizing the number of equipment set-ups. If you choose the wrong equipment placement and instruments, you may not get suitable data. (2)
  • Decide to use existing survey markers and monuments for new surveys. Review evidence such as physical features surrounding survey monuments, field notes and coordinate readings to decide that survey monuments are in their original location. Risk getting inaccurate field data, requiring additional time in the field, if you err in your decision. (3)
  • Decide when there is enough corresponding evidence between coordinate readings and survey plans to draw conclusions about locations of boundary lines. (3)
  • Decide data collection procedures. For example, decide the positioning of equipment to get the most accurate coordinate readings. Make decisions on where to run control lines and temporary locator points in new subdivisions to minimize the amount of bush to be removed, the number of equipment moves and coordinate readings. Constantly revise decisions to respond to field crew requests for coordinate and measurement adjustments. How and where readings are collected directly affects surveying efficiency and the quality of the final survey plans. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Face difficulties exchanging data between software programs. Call software technicians to troubleshoot the problems and reschedule activities until the data is available. (1)
  • You are unable to complete assigned tasks due to bad weather, equipment breakdowns and other unexpected circumstances. For example, you discover you have incomplete project files or missing drawings. Identify the quickest way to get the information. In some cases, ask on-site supervisors for drawings or call the office to get the data over the phone. (1)
  • Face safety problems such as heavier traffic volumes than expected, thus making it difficult to complete surveys safely without additional field crew. Call the supervisor to request additional field crew members. (2)
  • Receive complaints from clients about property damages such as grass removed to dig and place survey monuments during surveying projects. Speak with clients to determine what kind of repairs would be satisfactory. (2)
  • Discover that survey monuments are missing or inaccurate. Review evidence in survey field notes and on properties to determine prior survey points for re-establishing property lines. If that fails, call the supervisor for further instructions. (3)
  • Discover discrepancies in survey drawings such as inaccurate lot sizing on engineering drawings. For example, a land survey technologist finds that the combined frontage length of all the lots is larger than the actual length of the subdivision. Refer to zoning bylaws, such as frontage and set back requirements, to resize the lots to fit the subdivision measurements and submits the drawings for approval. (3)
  • Encounter hostile owners who do not want you on their property. If you fail to gain access after explaining why you are there, locate alternative survey posts to survey the properties. Call the supervisor if you still need access to the properties to complete your work. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Look up survey job locations on maps. (1)
  • Refer to coordinate data lists, existing survey plans, field notes, land titles and deeds from land registry websites to locate existing survey monuments and verify existing survey measurements when completing surveys. (2)
  • Find boundary line evidence in various documents such as previous surveys, land titles, affidavits, field notes, site visits and other historical information. Obtain the information from various sources such as local archives, hardcopy and photocopy surveys and field notes on file and from other survey offices and specialized websites. Use the information as evidence to confirm the accuracy of existing boundary lines and complete boundary line retracements. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the quality and completeness of survey measurements and data readings. Use established criteria such as the measurement procedures used, allowable degree of errors and consistency of data. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality and authenticity of survey evidence when completing boundary line retracement and when confirming existing boundary lines. Consider how different evidence such as physical characteristics, field notes, survey plans and other historical information provide corresponding information. Justify lines of reasoning used to draw conclusions. (3)
  • Evaluate the safety of surveying situations such as working beside busy highways, surveying in isolated areas to choose the best method to safely complete surveying tasks. Consider criteria such as the risks, experience and knowledge of the crew, type of available equipment, type of terrain and allowable margin of error for the measurements. (3)
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