A surveyor typically needs a bachelor's degree and work experience to obtain a license, which is required by all states. Two years of hands-on experience is also normally required, though some states do consider applicants with an associate degree and more extensive surveying experience.
- Get a bachelor's degree
Most states require a person seeking a licence to earn a bachelor's degree from a school accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The emphasis in a typical surveying program is on mathematics and the use of surveying technology. Civil engineering and forestry bachelor's degrees are sometimes accepted for licensing as well.
- Gain work experience
The standard minimum expectation for licensing is for work experience of 2 years or more. Alternatives to a bachelor's degree plus 2 years of experience include an associate degree and several additional years of experience or roughly 10 years of experience working with a licensed surveyor.
- Obtain a state license
Each state has its own licensing requirements, but most follow the process recommended by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Steps in this process include meeting the state's mandated education requirements, passing the Fundamentals of Surveying test, gaining the required work experience and passing the Principles and Practice of Surveying test.