fbpx
  • Land surveying is the process of measuring and mapping the earth’s surface
  • Land surveyors work in various sectors, including oil and gas, mining, construction, and environmental
  • Land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry involve both office and field work
  • Land surveyors help locate, design, and monitor oil and gas facilities and pipelines
  • Land surveyors use different techniques, such as GPS and conventional (optical) surveying, depending on the project and the terrain
  • Land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry require different levels of education, experience, and skills, depending on the position
  • Land surveying offers a rewarding career with opportunities for advancement and professional development
What is Land Surveying?

Land surveying is the process of measuring and mapping the earth’s surface. Land surveyors use various instruments, methods, and technologies to collect, analyze, and present spatial data. Land surveyors provide essential information for planning, designing, constructing, managing, and maintaining various projects and facilities.

Land surveyors work in various sectors, such as oil and gas, mining, construction, environmental, transportation, agriculture, and forestry. They may work for private companies, government agencies, or as self-employed consultants. Surveyors may specialize in different types of surveys, such as cadastral (legal), topographic (elevation), geodetic (large-scale), hydrographic (water), engineering (design), or geophysical (subsurface).

Land Surveying in the Oil and Gas Industry

Land surveying is a crucial part of the oil and gas industry. Land surveyors are involved in every stage of the exploration, development, production, transportation, and reclamation of oil and gas resources. They also help ensure compliance with environmental, safety, and legal regulations. From drafting intricate maps to conducting field surveys, surveyors provide precise measurements and data essential for successful operations. Some of the tasks that land surveyors perform in the oil and gas industry include:

  • Conducting site surveys to determine the best location for oil and gas wells, facilities, and pipelines
  • Establishing control networks to provide accurate coordinates for mapping and positioning
  • Performing boundary surveys to determine legal ownership and rights of way
  • Establishing boundaries, easements, rights-of-way, leases, and permits for oil and gas properties
  • Conducting as-built surveys to verify the location and alignment of wells, pipelines, facilities, and structures
  • Performing deformation surveys to monitor the movement and settlement of the ground due to extraction or injection of fluids
  • Conducting environmental surveys to assess the impact of oil and gas activities on the land, water, wildlife, and vegetation
  • Preparing maps, plans, reports, and legal documents to support oil and gas operations and regulatory compliance
Job Positions in Land Surveying

Land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry can be divided into two main categories: office positions and field positions. Office positions involve working with computers, software, data, maps, plans, drawings, reports, and legal documents. Field positions involve working outdoors with instruments, equipment, vehicles, crews, clients, and stakeholders.

Some examples of office positions are:

  • Drafting Technician: A drafting technician creates maps, plans, and drawings using computer-aided design (CAD) software. A drafting technician may also perform calculations, quality control, and data management. A drafting technician typically requires a diploma or certificate in drafting, geomatics, or a related field. A drafting technician works under the supervision of a licensed land surveyor or a senior drafting technician.
  • Survey Technician: A survey technician processes, analyzes, and interprets survey data using specialized software. A survey technician may also perform quality control, data management, and report writing. A survey technician typically requires a diploma or certificate in geomatics, surveying, or a related field.
  • Survey Technologist: A survey technologist performs more advanced tasks than a survey technician, such as designing surveys, coordinating projects, supervising staff, and liaising with clients. A survey technologist may also perform field work as needed. A survey technologist typically requires a diploma or degree in geomatics, surveying, or a related field.

Some examples of field positions are:

  • Land Surveyor: A land surveyor is a professional who is legally authorized to conduct land surveys and certify the results. A land surveyor may perform all the tasks of a party chief, as well as prepare legal documents such as plans, certificates, and affidavits. A land surveyor may also provide expert advice and testimony on land surveying matters. A land surveyor typically requires a degree in geomatics, surveying, or a related field, as well as passing a series of exams and obtaining a license from a regulatory body.
  • Party Chief: A party chief leads a field survey crew consisting of one or more survey assistants. A party chief is responsible for planning, organizing, and executing field surveys using various instruments and equipment. A party chief also prepares field notes, sketches, and reports for land surveying projects. A party chief may also communicate with clients, contractors, and regulators. A party chief typically requires several years of experience as a survey assistant or a survey technician.
  • Survey Assistant: A survey assistant assists a land surveyor or a party chief in conducting field surveys. A survey assistant may operate equipment such as GPS receivers, total stations, levels, and radios. A survey assistant may also perform tasks such as clearing sight lines, staking boundaries, marking locations, and recording measurements. A survey assistant typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent.
Job Requirements

Land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry require different levels of education, experience, and skills, depending on the position. However, some common requirements, responsibilities, and other aspects are:

  • Knowledge of surveying principles, methods, standards, and regulations
  • Proficiency in using surveying equipment, software, and tools
  • Ability to work with numerical data, calculations, and measurements
  • Attention to detail, accuracy, and quality
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, landowners, and stakeholders
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to adapt to changing conditions and situations
  • Willingness to travel and work in remote locations
  • Awareness of health, safety, and environmental issues
Benefits of land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry

Land surveying jobs in the oil and gas industry offer competitive salaries, benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. Common benefits include health insurance, dental insurance, pension plan, vacation time, sick leave, and bonuses. Additionally, land surveying jobs offer opportunities for career advancement through training, education, certification, and experience. Land surveyors can advance to senior positions such as project manager, survey manager, or branch manager. Land surveyors can also specialize in different types of surveys or sectors, or start their own consulting business.

Duties and responsibilities of land surveyors
  • Conducting site surveys to determine the best location for oil and gas wells, facilities, and pipelines
  • Preparing maps, plans, drawings, reports, and legal documents for oil and gas projects
  • Establishing boundaries, easements, rights-of-way, leases, and permits for oil and gas properties
  • Performing quality control and quality assurance checks on oil and gas projects
  • Monitoring the construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of oil and gas projects
  • Providing expert advice and testimony on land surveying matters related to oil and gas projects
Challenges that land surveyors face
  • Working in harsh weather conditions and remote locations
  • Working under tight deadlines and budget constraints
  • Working with complex and changing regulations and standards
  • Working with diverse and sometimes conflicting interests and expectations
Benefits & Opportunities that land surveyors enjoy
  • Working in a dynamic and rewarding field that contributes to society and the environment
  • Working with cutting-edge technology and innovation
  • Working on diverse and interesting projects
  • Working in various sectors, such as oil and gas, mining, construction, transportation, agriculture, forestry, and environmental
  • Travel for work in various locations and different countries
  • Working in various roles, such as drafting technician, survey assistant, party chief, licensed land surveyor, project manager, consultant, educator, researcher, or regulator
  • Opportunities for learning and professional development, advancement, and career growth
Techniques used by land surveyors

Land surveyors use different techniques for measuring and mapping the earth’s surface. The two main techniques are GPS (Global Positioning System) surveying and conventional (optical) surveying.

GPS surveying uses satellites to determine the position of points on the earth’s surface. GPS surveying is fast, accurate, and efficient. GPS surveying can be used for large-scale projects that cover long distances or span multiple jurisdictions. GPS surveying can also be used for projects that require high accuracy or precision.

Conventional (optical) surveying uses instruments such as levels, transits, theodolites, total stations, and lasers to measure angles and distances between points on the earth’s surface. Conventional surveying is flexible, versatile, and reliable. Conventional surveying can be used for small-scale projects that require detailed measurements or complex calculations. Conventional surveying can also be used for projects that involve obstacles or interference that may affect GPS signals.

Land surveyors may use either GPS or conventional techniques depending on the project requirements, the site conditions, the client preferences, and the regulatory standards. Sometimes, land surveyors may use a combination of both techniques to achieve optimal results.

A Career in Oilfield Land Surveying

Land surveying is a dynamic and rewarding field that offers many benefits and opportunities for those who are interested in working with spatial data, technology, and people. Some of the reasons to choose a career in land surveying are:

  • Contribute to society and the environment by providing essential information for planning, designing, constructing, managing, and maintaining various projects and facilities.
  • Work with cutting-edge technology and innovation that will challenge your skills and knowledge.
  • Diverse and interesting projects and clients that will expose you to different sectors, locations, roles, and perspectives.
  • Opportunities for learning and professional development that will enhance your career potential and growth.

If you are interested in a career in land surveying, you will need to meet the education, experience, and certification requirements for the job position you are aiming for. It helps to have a passion for spatial data, technology, and people.

Some of the steps you can take to start or advance your career in land surveying are:

  • Research the land surveying field and the job positions available in your area.
  • Choose an accredited institution that offers a program in land surveying or a related field that suits your goals and preferences.
  • Complete your education program and obtain your degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Gain relevant work experience by applying for internships or entry-level jobs in land surveying or a related field.
  • Pursue certification by preparing for and passing the professional examination administered by a regulatory body in your jurisdiction.
  • Network with other land surveyors by joining professional associations, attending events, or participating in online forums.
  • Seek mentorship from experienced land surveyors who can offer you guidance, feedback, and support.
  • Keep learning and updating your skills and knowledge by taking courses, workshops, reading publications or watching videos related to land surveying.

Land surveying in the oil and gas industry is a dynamic and vital field, offering diverse career paths from the field to the office. As technology evolves, the role of surveyors becomes increasingly indispensable. Whether you’re fascinated by mapping vast landscapes or enjoy the precision of drafting, a career in land surveying within the oil and gas sector promises exciting challenges and opportunities for growth.

Sign In

Register

Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.