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Career and Education Opportunities for Surveyors in Charleston, South Carolina

Surveyor career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, South Carolina. About 1,000 people are currently employed as surveyors in South Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 24% to about 1,250 people employed. This is better than the national trend for surveyors, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.9% over the next eight years. In general, surveyors make exact measurements and determine property boundaries.

Income for surveyors is about $19 per hour or $41,030 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $25 hourly or $52,980 annually. Surveyors earn more than people working in the category of Surveying generally in South Carolina and more than people in the Surveying category nationally. People working as surveyors can fill a number of jobs, such as: land surveyor manager, survey coordinator, and photogrammetric engineer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a surveyor, among fourteen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Surveyors usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a surveyor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Surveyor

Surveyor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, surveyors make exact measurements and determine property boundaries. They also provide data relevant to the shape, contour, or dimension of land or land features on or near the earth's surface for engineering, mapmaking, and other purposes.

Surveyors verify the precision of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites. They also design criteria for survey methods and procedures. Equally important, surveyors have to analyze survey objectives and specifications to ready survey proposals or to direct others in survey proposal preparation. They are often called upon to train assistants and helpers, and direct their activities in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps. They are expected to establish fixed points for use in making maps, using geodetic and engineering instruments. Finally, surveyors adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.

Every day, surveyors are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they deal with basic arithmetic problems.

It is important for surveyors to survey bodies of water to establish navigable channels and to secure data for building of breakwaters and other marine structures. They are often called upon to conduct research in surveying and mapping methods using knowledge of techniques of photogrammetric map compilation and electronic data processing. They also direct aerial surveys of specified geographical areas. They are sometimes expected to decide on requirements for photographic apparatus to be used for aerial photography, as well as altitudes from which to photograph terrain. Somewhat less frequently, surveyors are also expected to train assistants and helpers, and direct their activities in such activities as performing surveys or drafting maps.

Surveyors sometimes are asked to direct or conduct surveys to determine legal boundaries for properties, on the basis of legal deeds and titles. They also have to be able to decide on longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas using theodolites and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS) and locate and mark sites selected for geophysical prospecting efforts such as efforts to identify petroleum or other mineral products. And finally, they sometimes have to adjust surveying instruments to maintain their accuracy.

Like many other jobs, surveyors must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Cartographer. Collect, analyze, and interpret geographic information provided by geodetic surveys, aerial photographs, and satellite data. Research, study, and prepare maps and other spatial data in digital or graphic form for legal, social, and design purposes. May work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). May design and evaluate algorithms, data structures, and user interfaces for GIS and mapping systems.
  • Survey Technician. Adjust and operate surveying instruments, such as the theodolite and electronic distance-measuring equipment, and compile notes, make sketches and enter data into computers.
  • Surveying Technician. Calculate mapmaking information from field notes, and draw and verify accuracy of topographical maps.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Surveyor Training

Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC

Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has a less than one year program in Surveying Technology/Surveying which graduated three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Photogrammetric Techonologist: This certification is designed for technicians who perform or supervises technical photogrammetric tasks to extract spatial data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Certified GIS/LIS Technologist: This is certification is for technicians who integrate a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.

For more information, see the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - Imaging & Geospatial Information Society website.

Geographical Information Systems Professional: The GISP certification program was founded on the principle that real-world work experience combined with education and professional association activities could serve as a proxy for a comprehensive exam on the basics of geographic information science and technology (GIS&T).

For more information, see the GIS Certification Institute website.

Highway Surveys: This certification program is for engineering technicians involved in field and/or office aspects of highway surveying.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LICENSES

SURVEYOR, LAND

Licensing agency: S.C. State Board of Registration for
Address: Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, 110 Centerview Drive, Kingstree Bldg., Suite 201, P. O. Box 11597, Columbia, SC 29211

Phone: (803) 896-4422
Website: S.C. State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina photo by AudeVivere

Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.