October is Careers in Construction Month and we’re incredibly proud of our team of experienced professionals. Surveying and mapping is a gratifying career with both a rich and fascinating history. Some of our country’s founding fathers were surveyors and though the tools of the trade have changed, surveying can be traced back to ancient civilizations.
The demand for professional surveyors is expected to drastically increase in the next decade, which give this rewarding industry even more job security and flexibility. Not to mention, Florida has one of the highest employment levels for surveyors.
Earning a four-year degree is generally the first step toward becoming a professional surveyor. This is most commonly a four-year degree in an ABET accredited Geomatics program, currently offered at the University of Florida and the Florida Atlantic University. However, it is still applicable to hold a four-year degree in another area of study, but it will require additional years of recorded experience and additional course work.
Following graduation from an accredited university, the next step will be to obtain relevant work experience, done in responsible charge of the accuracy and correctness of work performed. Responsible charge refers to working as a subordinate to a licensed professional surveyor and mapper. Four years are required if the degree was obtained in a surveying and mapping program. Six years is required for non-surveying and mapping programs.
The final requirement of becoming a licensed professional surveyor and mapper is to pass a series of examinations, including the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam, and Florida Jurisdictional examination, after approval by the board.
The process of becoming a licensed professional surveyor and mapper (PSM) in Florida takes years of study, experience and dedication, but comes with a score of benefits. KPM Franklin’s project manager, Mitchel Hill has met all the preliminary requirements and is in the process of completing his examinations.
Learn more about Mitchel’s journey and his experience preparing to become a PSM.
Employee Spotlight: Mitchel Hill
What is your education background?
Bachelor of Science in Geography from Ball State University
What inspired you to go into the surveying & mapping field?
Surveying found me. I was recruited by a firm out of college and found interest in it after working at it for a couple years.
How will having your license change your role?
Getting licensed is the last major step for my career. It takes 4-6 years at a minimum with a rigorous application and testing requirement. Brings a strong sense of accomplishment and job security.
What are some of the highlights of your duties and responsibilities in your role?
Every project is a new puzzle to solve with its own intricacies and demands. Having the opportunity to pursue interesting projects that require creative solutions keeps me excited.
What types of projects have you worked on?
I’ve been fortunate to have exposure to a wide variety of industries in my career. I’ve worked on projects in commercial and residential development, healthcare, theme parks, industrial, energy and utility infrastructure, and multi-story construction. This has included work at an abandoned steel plant, a 37-story high rise apartment building, hospitals, 1,000+ lot residential communities, ranch land, forested and wetland areas, marinas, golf courses and a power plant to name a few.
What excites you the most about this industry?
The challenges it will face in the coming years excites me most. There have been large technological advancements over the last couple decades that will continue to shape the way surveying is performed. That coupled with the large decline in professionally licensed surveyors over the last decade and the projected continue of that presents some interesting challenges to overcome throughout my career.
What is the best part about your job?
My favorite part in my current position is seeing a final product come together, a map I can be proud to have completed.
Where are you looking to grow in your career?
I’m looking to grow in the emerging technologies side of the industry, getting more involved with laser scanning and similar products.
What advice would you give others who are entering the career field or preparing to become a Professional Surveyor and Mapper?
With all the new tech out there in the industry, it’s easy to ignore some of the old procedures and equipment that was used prior. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the history, it helps solidify some concepts and understand the best direction forward.