National Surveyor's Week 2024

Industry News, Employee Insights

The History Behind National Surveyor's Week

National Surveyor's Week is celebrated annually on the third or fourth week of March. This week honors the profession of surveying and aims to educate the younger generation on its significance in the blueprint of our society. The week was initially declared on February 13th, 1984, by President Ronald Reagan. Surveying as a profession dates back to ancient Egypt in 2700 BC during the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Surveyors have played a crucial role throughout history in developing economic plans to optimize resources and land. Multiple founding fathers of the United States were land surveyors during colonial times, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. 

Surveying Today

The roots of surveying have remained consistent throughout time, however, today surveyors now leverage tools such as drones, lasers, remote sensing, and satellite imagery to enhance the quality and accuracy of their surveys. Today in the U.S. there are over 43,000 land surveyors who have a wide range of skills including geometry, trigonometry, physics, engineering, and more. Although there are a large number of people in the profession, the annual number of retiring surveyors surpasses the number who are entering the workforce.

Surveyors are an integral part of many industries such as engineering, construction, urban planning, environmental conservation, and disaster management. Their expertise goes beyond simply measuring land; surveyors transform the physical world into a map that guides decision-makers for development. 

This week, it is important to educate younger generations on the importance of considering a career in land surveying. National Surveyor's Week serves as a platform to share their knowledge, highlight their profession, and showcase the impact they have on society! 

The Surveying Process

Land surveying can be an articulate process, but these 8 steps can give you a general idea. 

1.) Obtain Existing Deeds and Property Information

2.) Prepare a Base Boundary Plan

3.) Do the Field Survey

4.) Prepare the Existing Conditions Plan

5.) Resolve Any Boundary Issues

6.) Obtain Any Other Required Survey Information

7.) Prepare the Construction Stake-out Survey

8.) Prepare the As-Built Survey

Insights From Our Survey Team

What Intrigued you about pursuing a career in surveying, and how did you get started in the industry?

  • "After a career in the restaurant industry, I decided to go a new direction. During my search, I met a couple of surveyors at an auto cad class I enrolled in at Renton Technical College. Being an avid sportsman the idea of working in survey got my attention. The technology and physicality 'set the hook'." -Terry Lohr
  • "I was looking for a career path and stumbled upon surveying. I was at Renton Technical College looking at their programs, not knowing what I wanted to do and came across the Surveying program. After some research, I thought the idea of being a surveyor was very intriguing. I liked the idea of not being inside all day working if I didn’t want to be. You can go down multiple paths when first starting in the industry, depending on how you want to pursue it. The idea of working outside every day was appealing to me at that time." -Dave Williams
  • "I got started in surveying as a way to try something new. My father was a construction manager and I called him one day and asked if he knew if any of his contractors were hiring. He sent me to a survey/engineering company and I got a chainman job. I loved the work. I was outside helping build homes and businesses. I could see the fruits of my labor coming to fruition. I enjoyed being a part of the whole process. From mapping a site, staking what the engineers designed, and doing the asbuilts. Now, as the Survey Construction Manager, I get to do much of the same." -Bryan Newberry
  • "I enjoy working outdoors and playing a part in developing patches of land." - Nicholas Hale
  • "I started surveying with my father when I was 16 and helped him out during the summer. I enjoyed the profession, so I got with another company when I was ready to work full-time. The rest is history." -Nick Chinappi
  • "An old friend of mine got me into the survey profession. It was a job at first, but after spending some time learning from people at Barghausen and wanting to do what they do, all I wanted was to be a surveyor. Once I learned what was involved, and the experience we get from being in the field, I enjoy this job more than my hobbies at times." -Miguel Molina

How do you collaborate with other professionals in our firm such as civil engineers or architects?

  • "Early on, I worked under field and office staff who motivated me by strengthening my skills. I predominantly work on the construction site now and find myself surrounded by talented people in development, contracting, and of course, our engineers and surveyors here at Barghausen." -Terry Lohr
  • "I am in contact with other departments every day taking their requests for survey work, looking at items they have questions about, and asking them questions regarding engineering plans. We are in constant communication, and we have a very collaborative workplace here at Barghausen. It makes us better at what we do, and allows us to anticipate what other teams will need to help us grow." - Dave Williams
  • "Surveyors and Engineers work hand in hand, we get to be the eyes and ears for all of the groundbreaking work currently being done. Engineers cannot design if they do not have a good map of what is happening on a piece of land. On the construction side, we get to layout designs and help problem-solve if there is an issue." -Bryan Newberry
  • "While I don’t have much direct contact with our engineers, I do have experience dealing with the engineering aspect of concrete construction. When I survey here at Barghausen, I try to anticipate any engineering questions that could arise while mapping the site." -Nick Chinappi
  • "As a Party Chief, I am in constant communication with engineers. We need to know what they want at the beginning of a survey so we can get them the information that they need for any design that is planned. We are checking plans before and double-checking plans during the construction phase of the project. We are also in communication with them for post-construction surveys for permitting and finalization of projects." -Miguel Molina

What advice do you have for anyone interested in pursuing a career in surveying? 

  • "If you enjoy the outdoors, teamwork, and seeing the full timeline of your efforts, Surveying delivers the goods. Life is a series of traverses and when done correctly, they all close tight." -Terry Lohr
  • "Reach out to multiple surveyors in the community to ask about specific aspects that you find interesting or exciting about surveying. There is a wide range of work that happens in the industry, so it is beneficial to gain input from different surveyors. Lastly, explore different companies to learn what aspects of surveying align with your interests the most." -Dave Williams
  • "Just have fun with it, If you treat it like a job, it is. Ask questions, the party chiefs are there to teach you. The math, and the problem-solving that makes this profession hard will come with time and experience." -Bryan Newberry
  • "The advice I have for anyone interested in land surveying is to pay attention to the little details, learn something new every day, and be adaptable." -Nicholas Hale
  • "My advice would be to research the profession before signing on to see if working outdoors in difficult environments and weather is for that person. If so, I’d say that the person should try to get on a crew with an experienced field crew chief who is good at teaching and communication. You should be able to learn everything you need to know from the chief." -Nick Chinappi
  • "The best advice I have for someone inquiring about surveying is that they should want to be outdoors. Rain or shine. They should enjoy the simple things like different scenery all the time. I enjoy that the most." -Miguel Molina