Since our December 2006 website poll revealed that 47 percent of pollers do not outsource their work, the expectation for surveyors’ compensation was that it would be favorable in most circumstances. Our biennial collection of annual salaries, benefits and other job-related compensation reveals that surveyors in both the private and public sectors fare well in the area of compensation compared to previous years. The collection of input from 649 respondents from across the country earlier this year reveals that the median annual gross salary in 2006 was $62,000.

Median Salary by Education

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics1, “opportunities will be best for surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists who have a bachelor’s degree and strong technical skills.” According to our survey, private sector respondents fared better with a high school diploma over a bachelor’s degree by about $5,000 annually; however, looking to the salary averages based on licensure, it appears that professional land surveyors are by far winning out over surveyors-in-training. Income increases from attaining licensure were largest in the 10-29 percent range. Median salaries based on years of experience reflect the fact that tenure produces more pay. Of course, every number is relative to the number of hours a surveyor works in a given day.

Median Salary By Years of Experience

Other notable points from our biennial survey:

 Sixty-nine (69)% of respondents are employed in the private sector; 30 percent in the public sector.

 Similar to 2005, the highest percentage (35) of respondents serve a total population of one million or more.

 Fourty-two (42)% of respondents work for firms offering both surveying and civil engineering services, followed by 26% who perform strictly surveying services.

 The number of employees in our respondents’ firms is two to nine, followed by 500 or more: surveyors are working in the traditional smaller firms or very large firms.

 Seventy-two (72)% of respondents currently hold registration/licensure; the largest percentage (45%) achieved licensure more than 15 years ago.

 The greatest jump in income after achieving licensure compared to our 2005 survey was in the 50-69% range.

 Private sector sole proprietors average $57,000 annually.

 The median age of our respondent is 49 years old.

 In nearly every category, the western region fared better in annual income by several thousand dollars.

Median Salary By Registration/Licensures

Considering that wages and benefits vary throughout the country as well as the cost of living and the lifestyle levels individuals choose, surveyors seem to be faring well in the area of compensation. As economic factors change, as states alter their licensure requirements and as product lines alter the needs of field crew and office staff, so too will the wages and benefits offerings of surveyors. The individual surveyor must consider all of these factors when joining or continuing in the profession.

Private Benefits Received in Compensation Package

The current May 2007 published survey reflects figures compiled from 2006. This data is an estimated representation of the working surveying population and should not be used as exact figures. For more information from our recent survey,

Public Benefits Received in Compensation Package

Your Participation is Important

POB’s biennial survey is the only one, save the statistics 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 survey to plan their payroll specifics, and surveyors themselves use it to gauge their standing in the profession or to help with new job prospects.

However, our survey results can only improve with more participation. Please complete our questionnaire if you receive it in 2009. The more responses we receive, the better the published results represent the profession. If you’d like to see results on a particular question regarding salary or benefits, send an E-mail