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Education & Careers

With a 100% hire rate for recent graduates, people entering the profession don't ask if they can get a job, they choose where they want to work.

Discover Land Surveying - Where Career Meets Lifestyle


Voted as one of the "Top 25 Most Promising Jobs for Millennials" by Forbes Magazine

People entering the profession don't ask if they can get a job, they choose where they want to work. Recent graduates are experiencing a 100% hire rate. The number of available jobs that don't require a degree are also plentiful.

If you like working on various projects at different outdoor locations and collaborating with a number of professions - all while using advanced technology - land surveying could be in your future! 

What is the average salary of a land surveyor?

"While ZipRecruiter is seeing salaries as high as $118,155 and as low as $36,583, the majority of Professional Land Surveyor salaries currently range between $64,268 (25th percentile) to $89,975 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $108,266 annually in Oregon.

The average pay range for a Professional Land Surveyor varies greatly (as much as $25,707), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience." (September 22, 2022)

Becoming a Land Surveyor

What are the steps to becoming a professional land surveyor in Oregon? Click on the arrows below to learn more about each step.

1. Education
    • Check out Oregon Programs here or find ABET accredited programs available throughout the U.S. and worldwide, including 100% online. Click Here for more info.
    • Four-Year Program + 3 years of experience
      • Oregon Tech is the only four-year undergraduate degree program in Oregon. Check out OIT.edu.
      • Oregon State University has a graduate program. Find out more at OSU.edu.
    • Two-Year Program + 6 years of experience (or start here and transfer to Oregon Tech)
      • Clark College is the only two-year surveying program in the Portland Metro area. Check out Clark.edu.
      • Umpqua Community College offers an Applied Surveying option. Find out more at Umpqua.edu.
    • Engineering Degree or Forestry Degree + 6 years of experience
      • An ABET or ACCE accredited Four Year Baccalaureate Degree in Engineering. Oregon Tech, Oregon State University, and Portland State University have many ABET-accredited engineering programs.
      • Completion of coursework that includes 11 semester or 16 quarter hours of surveying instruction and surveying law may be substituted for two years of the qualifying experience required.
    • No Degree
      • Attain 9 years of field experience in place of a college program.


2. Pass the Required Exams
  • Exams can be taken whenever you feel prepared and in any order. However, the recommended order is to sit for the FS exam first, then the PS, then the Oregon-Specific Exam when you are close to obtaining your required experience.
  • Sit for the Fundamentals of Land Surveying (FS) exam
    • Go to NCEES.org to register and take the FS exam. Click here to purchase Practice Exam.
    • After passing the FS, you can apply for your Land Surveying Intern (LSI) certification by submitting an online application to OSBEELS. LSI Certification is not required for professional licensure; however, some employers require LSI certification.
  • Sit for the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam
    • Go to NCEES.org to register and take the PS exam. Click here to purchase Practice Exam.
  • Sit for the Oregon-Specific Land Surveying Exam
    • Apply to OSBEELS to sit for the April or October Administration of the Oregon-Specific exam. Exam registration deadlines can be found here.


3. Gain Experience Under a Licensed Land Surveyor (PLS)
  • Depending on your education, gain the required surveying experience under a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS). See OAR 820-010-2020 for qualifying combinations of education and experience.



4. Become a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor
  • Submit PLS Application Packet
    • Submit your application to OBSEELS online here.
    • For the application, you will need to provide your transcripts, verification of your passed exams, and 5 references, 3 of whom should be registered Professional Land Surveyors.
    • If you have a NCEES record that includes your education, exam verifications and references, you can transmit your record to OSBEELS to complete your PLS application. Information on setting up a NCEES record can be found here.

Already a Land Surveyor?

Take advantage of the programs and opportunities available to improve your Career.

PLSO

Let’s Get Together

Get the support you need when you are part of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon.

Membership with PLSO offers:

  • Professional development opportunities
  • Money-saving programs
  • Discounts for national programs
  • Legislative advocacy for our industry
  • And more!

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