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Land surveyors

OaSIS code 21203.00

Land surveyors plan, direct and conduct legal surveys to establish the location of real property boundaries, contours and other natural or human-made features, and prepare and maintain cross-sectional drawings, official plans, records and documents pertaining to these surveys.


Also known as

  • Cadastral surveyor
  • Canada lands surveyor
  • City surveyor
  • Land surveyor
  • Property surveyor

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Develop survey plans, methods and procedures for conducting legal surveys
  • Plan, direct and supervise or conduct surveys to establish and mark legal boundaries of properties, parcels of lands, provincial and Canada Lands, Aboriginal land claims, wellsites, mining claims, utility rights-of-way, roadways and highways
  • Survey and lay out subdivisions for rural and urban development
  • Determine precise locations using electronic distance measuring equipment, global positioning systems (GPS), and unmanned aerial vehicules (UAV)/drones
  • Analyze, manage and display data using geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design and drafting (CAD)
  • Record all measurements and other information obtained during survey activities
  • Prepare or supervise the preparation and compilation of all data, plans, charts, records and documents related to surveys of real property boundaries
  • Certify and assume liability for surveys made to establish real property boundaries
  • Advise, provide consultation and testify as an expert witness on matters related to legal surveys
  • May supervise other land surveyors, and land survey technologists and technicians.

Additional information

  • Federal statutes require a separate licence from the Association of Canada Land Surveyors to survey areas such as national parks, Aboriginal lands, offshore areas and northern territories.

Similar occupations classified elsewhere


  • Engineering managers (20010)
  • Geoscientists and oceanographers (21102)
  • Urban and land use planners (21202)
  • Civil engineers (21300)
  • Land survey technologists and technicians (22213)
  • Civil engineering technologists and technicians (22300)
  • Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology (22214)
  • Geomatics engineer; Survey engineer (in 21300.00 Civil engineers)

NOC hierarchy breakdown

NOC version

NOC 2021 Version 1.0

Broad occupational category

2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations


1 – Occupations usually require a university degree

Major group

21 – Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences

Sub-major group

212 – Professional occupations in applied sciences (except engineering)

Minor group

2120 – Architects, urban planners and land surveyors

Unit group

21203 – Land surveyors

Occupational profile

21203.00 – Land surveyors

Work characteristics

Work characteristics gathers the various components describing the work environment of each occupation, such as employers, work activities, and the work context. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of complexity (for Work Activities) or other measurement dimensions (for Work Context), and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.

Work Activities

Proficiency or complexity level
Analyzing Data or Information
4 - High Level
Clerical Activities
4 - High Level
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
4 - High Level
Developing Technical Instructions
4 - High Level
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics
4 - High Level

Work Context

Structural Job Characteristics

Structured versus Unstructured Work
Degree of freedom to determine tasks and priorities
3 - Moderate amount of freedom
Work Week Duration
Worked hours in a typical week
2 - Between 35 to 40 hours

Physical Work Environment

Physical Proximity
Physical distance from others
3 - Somewhat close (e.g. share office)

Physical Demands

2 - Less than half the time
3 - About half the time
Bending or Twisting the Body
3 - About half the time

Interpersonal Relations

Contact with Others
4 - Every day, a few times per day
4 - More than half the time
Work with Work Group or Team
3 - Important
2 - Once a month or more but not every week


  • All levels of government
  • Engineering and construction firms
  • Natural resource firms
  • Private sector land surveying establishments
  • Real estate development firms
  • Self-employed

Skills and abilities

This section displays the various competencies required for an occupation. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of proficiency (for Skills and Abilities) or importance (for Personal Attributes) and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.


Proficiency or complexity level
Far Vision
5 - Highest Level
Spatial Orientation
5 - Highest Level
Categorization Flexibility
4 - High Level
Depth Perception
4 - High Level
Information Ordering
4 - High Level


Proficiency or complexity level
Digital Literacy
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
Learning and Teaching Strategies
4 - High Level
4 - High Level

Personal Attributes

Attention to Detail
5 - Extremely important
4 - Highly important
4 - Highly important
4 - Highly important
Stress Tolerance
4 - Highly important