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Land Survey

Land Surveyors are measurement specialists and are legally responsibile for all surveys involving boundaries and land title. They are also involved in planning, project development and professional consultation.

The land surveyor divides his/her time between field work (measuring the terrain) and office work (processing the information and the development) and then further field work (setting out on the ground what he/she has designed). There are five categories in which a land surveyor can specialise, namely:

Geodetic surveying

Geodetic surveying ascertains the size and shape of our planet. The main function of this is to provide a framework of accurately coordinated and heighted beacons and benchmarks to which other surveys and maps can be connected.

Cartography

Map making is usually accomplished by means of photogrammetry after which the map data are subjected to cartographic processes for reproduction and distribution. The cartographer provides the map-user with information in an understandable and useful form.

Cadastral surveying

Cadastral surveying involves the survey of land (townships or farms) and buildings (sectional title) for the purpose of delimiting property boundaries and/or rights to that property. By law it is the exclusive function of a land surveyor to do cadastral surveying.

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A land surveyor works partly in the field. He/she uses advanced technology and computers. He/she often works on his/her own and is therefore dependent on his/her own judgement and decisions. The land surveyor also works with the public and it is therefore important for him/her to be able to maintain good human relations.

Career opportunities for land surveyors exist at government departments like the Surveyor-General, universities, municipalities and in private practice.

Most land surveyors open a private practice or go into partnership with other land surveyors .

The field work can be physically demanding, good health is essential. Some land surveyors do however specialise in the cartographic and geographic information system environments which take place in an office environment.

A land surveyor works partly in the field. He/she uses advanced technology and computers. He/she often works on his/her own and is therefore dependent on his/her own judgement and decisions. The land surveyor also works with the public and it is therefore important for him/her to be able to maintain good human relations.

After acquiring a University degree from an approved instituition one needs to register as a land-surveyor-in-training with the Council of Land Surveyors whilst being employed or supervised by a registered land surveyor.

A 270 days work experience is required in various areas of cadastral survey. If one is ready to write the law exam which deals with the statutes concerning land survey, they apply to the Surveyor-General and then sits for the said exam. If one passes then they continue to do practicals and reconstructions calculations. After these exams one is given a certificate of recognition by the Surveyor-General which enables one to apply for registration as a land surveyor with the Council of Land Surveyors.