A senior surveyor supervises survey operations and submits formal documents to record the results of a survey, testifying to their accuracy and completeness by signing them. This job requires a high degree of precision and responsibility. Senior surveyors are typically supported by assistants and administrative personnel. It it usually necessary to hold a degree and a license to work as a senior surveyor, and job requirements may also request experience in the industry as well as references.
On a surveying job, the senior surveyor may plan out the schedule, decide how to proceed, and assign tasks to various personnel who will work on site. Senior surveyors can directly collect observations and participate in complicated data collection. They may also walk a site to make sure people are performing their jobs properly and can offer mentoring and assistance to trainees who are still learning the nature of the work.
Management of surveys may require handling multiple survey sites at once, in which case the senior surveyor cannot always be on site. As results come in, the surveyor reviews them. If there are any questions or errors, they must be addressed before the senior surveyor prepares a formal report. This person will be liable if a mistake is made on the survey, and takes care to make sure personnel are fully trained and focused on the work while they are at a job site.
When a survey is complete and all the data is available, the senior surveyor prepares a report. The report discusses the methods used and the findings, and provides clear documentation of anything found on site. It can also include photographs, drawings, and sketches to provide information about boundaries, elevations, property lines, and other issues that may come up. The surveyor's report enters formal records associated with the site, including the property records at a government agency.
To become a senior surveyor, it is usually necessary to have a degree in the field, a license to practice as a surveyor, and substantial experience. People may start out in junior positions and work their way up to senior staff over the course of several years of work in the field. Senior surveyors may belong to professional organizations to keep up with developments in the field, and can attend conferences, read trade publications, and engage in other activities for professional development. They need to be aware of developing technology, legal issues, and other matters that might impact their work.