I believe an introduction is in order.

Of course you know who you are … you as in the singular you. But you might not be fully aware of who you are … you, the plural you. (Darned quirks in the English language.)

Thanks to our annual Salary & Benefits Study conducted by the BNP Market Research Division, we have a pretty good snapshot of who you, the readers of POB, are. 

To draw a composite portrait of the plural you, I’d start by saying that you work full-time, are salaried and are registered to work in two states. Your professional registration/licensure is either an RPLS, PLS or RLS.

You are 53 years old, and you’ve amassed 27 years of professional experience. You possess a degree, probably a bachelor’s or associate’s. You live in the United States.

You have great taste in magazines. (OK, that’s not part of the survey, but I thought I’d slip one in.)

The business for which you work does surveying or civil engineering or both. It’s privately owned and has 18 full-time employees; that number has been growing over the past two years after it went through a decrease in 2010 and 2011. You do many types of surveying, including boundaries, GPS, construction site, topographic and geodetic.

Your income is about $71,000 and that wouldn’t change much if you worked in the public sector instead of private. Your salary is slightly higher than it was a year ago, which you couldn’t have said three years ago. Most likely, it was a raise or bonus that created your new income.

You’re very satisfied with your work. (Think end-of-day satisfied, not dealing-with-unreasonable-client moment.) You receive paid vacation time and paid sick leave. Your retirement plan is partially paid for by the company.

Your benefits package includes health care, dental and life insurance.

You have several challenges at work: competing companies and low bids; finding and retaining qualified workers; adapting to new technology; the economy; and government regulations. You’ve invested in new technology to keep up with and hopefully get ahead of the competition.

You look at GPS, LiDAR and GIS as the technologies that are making the biggest impact … although drones intrigue you.

“Drone surveying will have the biggest impact as long as the level of accuracy of conventional methods can be maintained,” you said. “This will increase the amount of work a surveyor can produce.”

And what do you need to do to ensure a successful future?

“Adapt,” you said. “We have always been good at it over the years, but need to be better now; with GIS, scanning, model building and 3D work.”

“Keep up with the latest technologies and don’t become complacent,” you said. “Continue to look for new opportunities to expand your business and share the profession with young people.”

And that is a rough sketch of who you, the readers of POB, are. We are here to help and we’re glad you’re here.