Letters-July 2007

July 1, 2007
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Editor's Note: May 2007

I enjoy reading your magazine and your editorials each month. As a California land surveyor and civil engineer, I feel very strongly that your latest “Editor’s Points” missed a few very important points. When I took the land surveyor’s exam in 1971, I became an LLS a few months later. For many of the following years, an excessive amount of time, energy and money was spent by the California Land Surveyors Association to have my credentials changed by the state to LS. Upon returning to California a few years later, I found out that I was now a PLS. I have had a very difficult time trying to decide which suffix to use for a number of years. California has made the decision more difficult by approving all of the three suffixes. Many times I have felt like flipping a coin between LLS an LS. There seems to be no solution to this problemin the foreseeable future. Why don’t we stop confusing the people we serve by using the suffix LS nationwide? It is a shame that all of the efforts spent discussing this issue were not spent on improving our profession. A B.S. degree and a number of following years of experience should be the very minimum requirements for a land surveying license in every state.

When most of the civil engineers were removed from the Professional Board of Registration in California, many games were played with the exam. Because the state of California continues to play games with the exam, there has been a large shortage of land surveyors in California for the past few years.Caltrans decided that the solution to this problem was to pay land surveyors and civil engineers exactly the same.This solution in my opinion is completely unrealistic.It is my sincere hope that anyone who reads this letter will wake up and smell the roses.

John K. Beck, PE, RCE, LS, LLS


Editor’s response: John, I sympathize with your frustration over the credentials issue in California. Other states’ surveyors have similar frustrations. While the general suffix of LS might solve the problem on one level, I’ve found that not everyone agrees; many surveyors want to follow the books with their state’s assigned credentials (be that one or several). My goal, as noted in my note, is to honor and attribute those particular suffixes--as many as there are--accordingly. I too would like to see one suffix applied nationwide in order to avoid confusion of the public. Until or unless that happens, I will attempt to please (or perhaps appease) the readership of POB with their individual suffixes.

Thank you for your editorial encouragement for surveyors to use our credential letters. I received my Land Surveyor-In-Training certificate in the state of California in 1999. I never thought about including the letters LSIT in my E-mail signature or business cards or I forgot about it. But just [recently] I started doing so (just before reading your article). You are right to say that they represent “long nights and weekends studying trigonometry problems, data adjustments, geodesy, computer operations, boundary law principals and data collection procedures; intense field experience, application to [the] board,” surveying fundamentals and history, class and training expenses, and gaining general knowledge about surveying as a profession. It took me four exams to pass, and I felt a big relief and joy to accomplish such a challenge. I always encourage (survey) technicians to study hard and not give up taking the LSIT exam until they pass.

Jose V. Alas, LSIT


The ideas and opinions expressed by our readers do not necessarily reflect those of POB. Send your thoughts to the editor at

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