Roles and missions of the surveyor

The surveyor is one of the key professionals in the construction sector and in the principles of topography. They are responsible for measuring, describing and representing the Earth's physical properties. The tasks and responsibilities of a surveyor are varied and very important. They are responsible for :

Collecting specimens and measurements in the field to evaluate and quantify topographical features;

Produce maps documenting surfaces, property boundaries, contour lines and elevations at various sites;

Design projects such as roads and buildings by determining their locations and slope patterns;

Implement geographic information systems (GIS) for monitoring and forecasting purposes;

Perform geotechnical engineering tasks to support structures such as foundations, walls and dams;

Supervise properties and facilities to ensure compliance with safety codes and standards;

Analyze data and provide technical information to other engineering professionals;

Collaborate on large-scale projects that may involve engineers, architects and urban planners.

Surveyors should also be able to effectively use mapping and GIS software to produce accurate and up-to-date information. Being a qualified surveyor requires a solid background in mathematics, the physical sciences and the humanities.

Salary and career development

A surveyor's salary in France can vary according to experience and quality of work. A surveyor can start at an average gross annual salary of €26,000 for 0 to 2 years' experience, €28,000 for 2 to 5 years and €32,000 for 5 to 10 years. After 10 years, the average salary rises to €35,000 for 10 to 15 years and €37,000 for more than 15 years. Career prospects for a surveyor are varied, and can range from working as a construction engineer to becoming an expert technician in cartography and GIS. Other options are also possible, including technical manager in regional planning, research and development project coordinator, civil engineer or geomatics engineer. The options are numerous, and the salaries higher thanks to experience and greater expertise.

Advantages and disadvantages of surveying


Opportunity to work on interesting and varied projects.

Good balance between work and free time.

Good salary.

Excellent career opportunities.

Develops technical and problem-solving skills.


Additional training and examinations are required to obtain a license.

Documentation and reporting can be tedious.

Few opportunities for geographic mobility.

Weather conditions can be difficult to work in.

May involve dangerous, out-of-office work.

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