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.

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as a Surveyor or Spatial Scientist. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Surveyors and Spatial Scientists.

    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

    More about Surveyors and Spatial Scientists

    All Surveyors and Spatial Scientists

    All Surveyors and Spatial Scientists

    • $1,958 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 12,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 87% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 45 hours Average full-time
    • 40 years Average age
    • 13% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Surveyors and Spatial Scientists (in their main job) 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 medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2018.
    • Location: Surveyors and Spatial Scientists work in many parts of Australia. Western Australia has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Construction.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,958 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (87%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 45 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 13% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employers found it hard to fill vacancies for Surveyors in 2018. Find out more in the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business latest report on Surveyors.

    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 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings19581460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services50.1
    Public Administration and Safety19.1
    Construction10.8
    Mining8.7
    Other Industries11.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, 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
    NSW29.931.6
    VIC19.725.6
    QLD22.120.0
    SA5.27.0
    WA16.910.8
    TAS2.52.0
    NT1.31.0
    ACT2.51.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketSurveyors and Spatial ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.8-5.05.0
    20-245.9-9.39.3
    25-3428.1-22.922.9
    35-4426.3-22.022.0
    45-5419.7-21.621.6
    55-598.5-9.09.0
    60-647.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.6-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate11.5-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree44.2-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma24.0-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV7.9-21.121.1
    Year 129.4-18.118.1
    Year 111.1-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below1.8-12.512.5

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as a Surveyor or Spatial Scientist. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Surveyors and Spatial Scientists.

    Membership with the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute may be useful.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • driver's licence

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mathematics

      82% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    2. Geography

      80% Skill level

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

    3. Technical design

      73% Skill level

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

    4. Computers and electronics

      70% Skill level

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

    5. Education and training

      68% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-1022.00 - Surveyors.

    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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Being exact or accurate

      99% Important

      Be very exact or highly accurate.

    2. Telephone

      98% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    3. Electronic mail

      97% Important

      Use electronic mail.

    4. Face-to-face discussions

      97% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    5. Outdoors, exposed to weather

      92% Important

      Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-1022.00 - Surveyors.

    go to top