If you’re seeking a talented surveyor serving the Twin Cities, Advance Surveying & Engineering offers extensive experience to Minnesota homeowners, property developers, and businesses. Over our many years in the field, one of the most common questions we’ve received is, “What’s the difference between a land surveyor and a construction surveyor?” 

What Is Land Surveying?

Few industries offer as much diversity as land surveying, which involves a variety of different topographies, structures, infrastructures, and municipal regulations. In its most basic form, land surveying is the practice of establishing or reestablishing the parameters of a piece of property or land. This includes marking the property lines and boundaries, as well as any monuments (i.e. a sewer, power box, shed, etc.) within the property. This goal is accomplished through a combination of onsite field research and investigation of historical documents – for example, the property’s original deed. 

What Classifies Someone as a Land Surveyor?

A land surveyor can be defined as a licensed professional with the schooling and expertise needed to participate in a survey, direct a survey team, and accept legal responsibility for a survey’s results. The most common milieus in which land surveyors work include property development (i.e. a new condominium development), construction (widening of an existing road, for example), and mortgage surveys to confirm property lines for a homeowner or developer. 

Along with performing in-field surveying, a land surveyor is responsible for various legal requirements – one of the most common of which is writing a legal description of a land parcel, a description which is included in a deed or lease. Land surveyors also help settle land/property disputes at the discretion of the court, and at times are even involved with investigating the causes and liability related to a car accident. 

What Is Construction Surveying?

The primary purpose of construction surveying is to establish the ideal location of manmade structures like bridges and highways, along with the components that comprise them: pillars, pipes, lights, etc. Given the similarities between construction surveying and land surveying, it’s not surprising that a “construction surveyor” is a land surveyor who specializes in the construction industry. A construction surveyor may get involved in the actual building of a structure, but his primary objective – for example, in the case of a new highway or bridge – is to ensure that the project is successfully completed in terms of length and associated dimensional measurements. It’s also a construction surveyor’s responsibility to confirm that a structure is placed on solid ground, with solid footing. This is especially vital related to the construction of new buildings, especially high-rises. 


For land surveyors and construction surveyors, a four-year college degree and state licensure are required. In terms of prospects, both fields offer plenty of opportunity. The number of professional surveyors in the U.S. is projected to grow 8% from 2018 – 2028, which is a healthy  outlook for the industry. Not surprising, considering how much new construction is underway, coupled with a growing need to update the nation’s existing infrastructure. 

We’re Always Looking For New Challenges

If you have questions about construction surveying and layout, or you have an opportunity you think we might be interested in, contact Advance Surveying & Engineering today. Whatever your needs, our team achieves success thanks to its high level of experience and professionalism. 


November 15, 2019 Advance Survey