Professional Paybacks

In an effort to identify the most current salary levels and benefit trends for surveying and mapping professionals, this year POB partnered with Clear Seas Research to conduct a comprehensive, quantitative study, which POB will publish on an annual basis.

In an effort to identify the most current salary levels and benefit trends for surveying and mapping professionals, this year POB partnered with Clear Seas Research to conduct a comprehensive, quantitative study, which POB will publish on an annual basis.

The results shown in the graphs on the following pages are not surprising. The study shows that the geomatics profession continues to offer competitive wages, benefits and other perks commensurate with tenure, education and licensure.

Specifically, results reflect that location matters in terms of pay. As might be expected, the larger a community served, the larger the median salary. In terms of regions, West Coast employees tend to earn more.

Job titles reflect that, nationally, vice presidents and general managers receive the highest average salaries. Interestingly, those who carry the title of president, owner or partner earn the second highest wages. Those in the private sector typically have a higher average salary than those in the public sector, except for party chiefs and crew chiefs. Generally, private sector employees report higher salary compensation than public sector employees until a master’s or doctorate degree is achieved, at which point the public sector reports higher median salaries.

Tenure matters. Those employed for 15 years or more have higher salary levels than those who have been in the industry for 14 years or less.

Personal advances also matter. A majority of study participants reported income increases of 10-29 percent after achieving registration or licensure.

Professional engineers (PEs) receive higher salaries compared with other industry registrations or licenses.

In terms of benefits, our study shows that those employed in the private sector are more likely to receive the following fully paid benefits: profit sharing, continuing education, a company vehicle and health insurance. In addition, some private sector participants report that their employers do not currently provide retirement plans, health, dental, life and vision insurance, or paid time off.

In contrast, public sector employees are more likely to receive bonuses, paid sick leave, a retirement plan and paid vacation, but they are less likely to receive bonuses and profit sharing. Public sector employees are also likely to have life, health, dental and vision insurance, continuing education and a retirement plan partially paid for by employers.

The data in this study reflects figures compiled from 2007 and is an estimated representation of the working surveying population. It does not represent exact figures. A total of 2,625 surveying and mapping professionals participated in this study between Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, 2008. Clear Seas Research, a division of BNP Media, conducted the study and compiled its findings.

This in-depth research study provides up-to-date information on professionals’ annual salaries, individuals in the industry who hold professional registrations/licensures and trends analyzed over a five-year period starting in 2001. The comprehensive trended report is available for purchase from Clear Seas Research. For information about purchasing a copy or to find out more about Clear Seas Research services, please contact Sima Patel at  

Your Participation is Important

POB’s now-annual salary and benefits study is the only one of its kind--aside from data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics--that offers details on surveying positions across the country as well as benefits received and education attained. Many firms use our study to plan their payroll specifics, and surveyors use it to gauge their standing in the profession or to help recruit new job prospects.<br /><br />
Our study results can only improve with more participation. If you receive our questionnaire in 2009, please participate--the more responses we receive, the more representative of the profession the study will be. And if you’d like us to include a particular question regarding salaries or benefits, send an e-mail to

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