Conducted by BNP Media's Market Research department, the 2013 study reveals a number of key trends in surveying and mapping and provides insights on how firms and individuals are dealing with changing markets and converging technologies. The following are some highlights from the report.
Keys to Success
- Stay current with technologies and trends
- Invest in continuing education
- Be flexible and adapt to changes
- Integrate GIS into your services
- Find your niche
37% of firms characterized as both surveying and civil engineering, while 36% of respondents characterized their firms as surveying only.
Increase in Full-Time Employees
The percentage of employees who work full-time increased from 10% in 2010 to 29% in 2013. 79% of firms report that the number of full-time employees remained the same or was higher in 2012.
Annual Gross Salary
43% of respondents report higher salaries in 2012. The reasons cited for the increase included more work, increased responsibility, raise, inflation, increased company profit, and an improved economy.
Types of Work Performed
Most of the work performed was topographic surveying, boundary/cadastral surveying and engineering design surveying. The highest-paying work was imaging, GIS/mapping and urban planning.
39% of respondents hold a bachelor's degree, and 8% report holding a master's or doctorate degree.
43% of firms fully pay for continuing education as a benefit, and 28% partially pay.
Pay & Experience
30% of respondents received a bonus in 2011 and 2012. Of these, about 39% said that their 2012 bonus was about the same as 2011; 27% reported a slightly higher amount in 2012; and 18% said that their bonus was much higher.
47% of respondents report 30 or more years in the surveying and mapping profession.
The Surveyor's Changing Role
"As GPS gets better with more and more satellites available, field crews will be able to cut field time by nearly 25% given they never lose 'initialization.'"
"The reliance of the masses on GIS information via the web will necessitate that surveyors populate the GIS database. Surveyors are going to need to become more accustomed to state grid coordinate systems and getting the data into GIS formats."
"Everyone can measure. It is understanding the data and being able to resolve boundaries that are a land surveyor's strengths."
"New technology is turning surveyors into field engineers. contractors want surveyors to not only perform their job, but also act as engineers and design or redesign things in the field as they go along."
"Imaging total stations, and possibly drone-platformed aerial data acquisition, should open up new opportunities for those who can afford to stay in business."
"Laser scanning and increasing mapping technologies will have a big impact. Surveyors must enter these markets, or someone else will fill these roles. Surveyors tend to look at surveying too myopically; boundary surveys are not the only role we can or should fill."