Home » The Technology Benchmark: A look at how your association dues go to work for you.
A frequently asked question of state surveying associations is: “What do I get in return for my annual dues?”
Another benefit of legislative lobbying through the association is that it
allows surveyors to speak with one voice. Since NYSAPLS represents 1,300
people, I believe that the association is doing a great job in portraying 1,300
surveyors as a large, well-organized block of constituents and voters.
Currently, NYSAPLS’ lobbying efforts are addressing the definition of land
surveying in the state-and this is clearly something that affects every
What does an association do to improve society’s respect for the profession?
According to Mauer, this is the No. 1 issue the association deals with.
“Community outreach is the backbone of the association,” Mauer says. “We try to
educate the public, planning boards, attorneys and others. We help the public
understand the land surveying profession today. Fifty percent of the calls come
from consumers who ask, ‘Why does it cost $1,000 to survey my house?’ or ‘Why
do I need a survey at all?’” NYSAPLS acts as a conduit for the public to
understand the value of a survey in a land transaction.
Another area of outreach occurs at the student level. With the average age of
surveyors estimated to be in the mid-50s, there is a need for young people to
join the profession. “We want to provide young people with professional
programs, hotlines and an 800 number where they can call for help along the lines
of ‘ask an expert’ type of program,” Mauer says.
Associations also reach out to those in survey companies who are not licensed
but have built their careers in the business. NYSAPLS believes these staff
members should be association members since they can contribute valuable
information on the inner workings of the survey field.
Serving Surveyors and the Public
State associations work on multiple levels to help surveyors. At the macro
level, an association looks at what is on the horizon and tries to observe the
surveying business from legal, governmental, human resources, technical and
public relations aspects. In multiple ways and at different levels,
associations work to help surveyors get work, do the work, bill for the work,
collect billings and obtain administrative and legislative assistance.
“American history is a story of people banding together to run schools,
hospitals, orphanages, foundations, churches and civic groups. Ben Franklin is
one of a number of early Americans who established some of our first
associations commonly called guilds of craftsmen,” Mauer says. “Professional
associations are at the root of our country’s growth. It is a support system,
and we are eager to help.”