Surveyors and Spatial Scientists plan, direct and conduct survey work to determine and delineate boundaries and features of tracts of land, marine floors and underground works, prepare and revise maps, charts and other geographic products, and analyse, present and maintain geographical information about locations in space and time.

A skill level equal to a Bachelor Degree or higher is required and half of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may be required, depending on the state or territory you live in.

Tasks

  • designing and compiling map manuscripts using digital and graphical source material, including aerial photographs, satellite imagery, survey documents, existing maps and records, reports and statistics
  • advising Surveyors and other professionals on the data requirements for map production, and on the aesthetic, technical and economic considerations of scales, details to be illustrated, place names and reproduction techniques
  • supervising and coordinating the work of cartographic technicians in the production and reproduction of maps
  • determining the position of points of interest on the earth's surface including marine floors, and preparing the final product data in digital form
  • supervising the preparation of plans, maps, charts and drawings to give pictorial representations and managing automated spatial information systems
  • undertaking research and development of surveying and photogrammetric measurement systems, cadastral systems and land information systems
  • planning and designing land subdivision projects and negotiating details with local governments and other authorities
  • advising Architects, Engineering Professionals, environmental and other scientists or other relevant professionals on the technical requirements of surveying, mapping and spatial information systems
  • compiling and evaluating data, interpreting codes of practice, and writing reports concerning survey measurement, land use and tenure
  • preparing site plans and survey reports required for conveyancing and land ownership matters

Job Titles

  • Surveyor
  • Cartographer
  • Other Spatial Scientist
  • Surveyor

    Plans, directs and conducts survey work to determine, delineate, plan and precisely position tracts of land, natural and constructed features, coastlines, marine floors and underground works, and manages related information systems. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Cadastral Surveyor, Engineering Surveyor, Geodetic Surveyor, Hydrographic Surveyor, Mine Surveyor, Photogrammetric Surveyor

  • Cartographer

    Applies scientific, mathematical and cartographic design principles to prepare and revise maps, charts and other forms of cartographic output.

  • Other Spatial Scientist

    Acquires, integrates, analyses, interprets, presents, manages and distributes information about locations in space and time, and develops related equipment, software and services.

    Specialisations: Geographic Information Systems Manager

Fast Facts

  • $1,562 Weekly Pay
  • 12,300 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 93.0% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42.2 hours Average full-time
  • 39.5 years Average age
  • 14.0% female Gender Share

The number of Surveyors and Spatial Scientists fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 12,300 in 2018 to 11,900 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 600 a year).

  • Size: This is a small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Surveyors and Spatial Scientists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Mining.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $1,562 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (93%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 14% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200814000
200913000
201012700
201115200
201213300
201316800
201414500
201511400
201614100
201714700
201812300
202311900

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsSurveyors and Spatial ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings15621230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services61.6
Public Administration and Safety15.6
Mining10.1
Construction5.2
Other Industries7.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSurveyors and Spatial ScientistsAll Jobs Average
NSW32.031.6
VIC17.026.2
QLD17.119.7
SA8.66.7
WA18.110.8
TAS2.12.0
NT2.31.1
ACT2.71.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSurveyors and Spatial ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-243.6-9.99.9
25-3432.2-23.623.6
35-4428.9-21.721.7
45-5417.5-20.820.8
55-597.5-8.88.8
60-646.3-6.06.0
65 and Over3.9-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSurveyors and Spatial ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate14.8-8.68.6
Bachelor degree40.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma21.9-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV14.8-18.918.9
Year 127.7-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A skill level equal to a Bachelor Degree or higher is required and half of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may be required, depending on the state or territory you live in.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Construction, Plumbing and Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Surveyors and Spatial Scientists who work well in a team, are motivated and organised.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Geography

    87% Important

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  2. Computers and Electronics

    79% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  3. English Language

    64% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Design

    62% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  5. Mathematics

    61% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-1021.00 - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Interacting With Computers

    96% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  2. Getting Information

    87% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge

    85% Important

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  4. Processing Information

    83% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    77% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-1021.00 - Cartographers and Photogrammetrists.

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