Land Surveyors Vs Assistant Land Surveyors

land surveyors vs assistant

Many fields that involve extensive training and experience requirements will carry multiple roles or titles depending on an individual’s progression, and a great example here is the realm of land surveying. There are a few distinct roles within the land surveying industry, and two common ones that are worth understanding the differences between are licensed land surveyors versus assistant land surveyors.

At Diamond Land Surveying, we’re here to offer a huge range of land surveying services to clients around Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, from boundary surveys to ALTA surveys, lot consolidations, subdivision surveys and more. While all of our jobs are carried out by fully licensed land surveyors, assistant land surveyors who are part of our company may also be present at times – let’s go over some of the key factors that differentiate these two parties, the role that licensed land surveyors play for assistant land surveyors, and what clients should know about interacting with each of these parties.

land surveyors vs assistant

Mentorship is Vital in Land Surveying

Like many other industries where formal education, apprenticeships and professional progression play a role, mentorship is considered a vital part of the land surveying field. In fact, this is often how individuals progress from one level to another – assistant land surveyors begin as apprentices under licensed land surveyors, then work their way up through experience and further training.

This mentoring process ensures that all parties are fully familiar with the latest technology, best practices and legal standards within land surveying. It also allows for the sharing of valuable knowledge and experience between licensed land surveyors and their assistants, as well as providing opportunities for assistant land surveyors to take on more responsibility and advance in their careers.

Education and Training Levels

As you may have already assumed from reading to this point, fully licensed land surveyors have completed significantly more education and training than assistant land surveyors. These individuals have typically obtained a bachelor’s degree in land surveying or a related field, as well as completing extensive on-the-job training and passing a state-specific licensing exam. This allows them to work independently and provide survey services to clients in various areas.

Assistant land surveyors may also have a formal education background in the field, but are not yet licensed and therefore do not hold the same level of responsibility as licensed land surveyors. They must work under the supervision of a licensed land surveyor, and depending on their state’s regulations they may be allowed to perform certain types of surveys or assist with others.


As we’ve alluded to here, assistant land surveyors will always operate under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor. This means that they cannot make any final decisions or sign off on surveys unless it is approved by their supervising licensed land surveyor.

This system is in place to protect both clients and the assistant land surveyors themselves, making sure that all work meets legal standards and requirements while also giving assistants an opportunity to learn from their more experienced colleagues. It allows for a safe and efficient working environment, aiding in the development of highly skilled land surveyors over time.

Legal Authority and Responsibilities

Another major difference between licensed land surveyors and assistant land surveyors is the legal authority they hold in their roles. As mentioned, fully licensed land surveyors are responsible for signing off on surveys and ensuring that all work meets required standards set by state regulations. They also have the authority to create and stamp official documents such as ALTA surveys.

Assistant land surveyors, while still highly trained and knowledgeable, do not hold this same legal authority. They may assist in the process of creating surveys and collecting data, but they cannot make final decisions or sign off on official documents.

Interacting With Both Parties

Both licensed land surveyors and assistant land surveyors play important roles in providing accurate and reliable surveys to clients, but as mentioned above it’s important to understand that they have different levels of responsibility within the industry. Clients should be aware that while assistant land surveyors are highly skilled and knowledgeable, they must work under the supervision of a licensed land surveyor who ultimately holds the legal authority for all surveys provided.

At Diamond Land Surveying, we pride ourselves on ensuring all of our clients receive high-quality, accurate surveys from experienced professionals. Our team includes both licensed land surveyors and experienced assistant land surveyors, all of whom work together to provide a wide range of surveying services. Whether you’re in need of a boundary survey for your property or an ALTA survey for a commercial development project, we are here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you with your next project in SLC or any nearby part of Utah.

Major Risks of DIY Land Survey Attempts

risks DIY land survey

While there are a number of areas of our lives where do-it-yourself (DIY) efforts can be prudent and help save both time and money, there are also others where work should typically be left to professionals for a few important reasons. The realm of land surveying is one such example – these kinds of projects should virtually never be attempted by anyone other than land survey professionals, and there are several specific reasons for this. 

At Diamond Land Surveying, we’re here to offer the very best land surveying services around Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, offering both residential and commercial surveys, construction staking services, lot consolidation plats and much more. Here are some of the major risks that are present for any non-land surveying professional attempting a DIY land survey project on their own, plus why you’ll be saving everything from time and money to hassle and peace-of-mind by hiring professionals for any such need. 

risks DIY land survey

Legal Requirements

First and foremost, there are a large number of land survey settings in which a professional survey is required by law. While laws on this front vary from state to state, most areas require that land surveys be completed for any new construction, property line disputes, or similar reasons.

Attempting these tasks without the proper legal requirements in place could lead to serious issues down the line, including costly legal battles and even potential fines. For instance, if your new construction project ends up encroaching on a neighbor’s property due to an incorrect survey, you could be dealing with expensive legal consequences.

Technical Expertise

Land surveying is a highly technical field that requires extensive knowledge and skill in order to produce accurate results. Professionals have undergone years of education and training to become qualified in this field, and they utilize state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to ensure precision.

Without the necessary technical expertise, attempting a DIY land survey is likely to result in inaccurate measurements and unreliable data. This can lead to significant problems for any future development or property transactions.

Safety Concerns

Land surveying involves working in potentially hazardous conditions, such as steep slopes, dense vegetation, or busy construction sites. Professionals are trained and equipped to handle these risks, while a DIY surveyor may not have the necessary safety training or equipment.

In addition to potential personal injury, there is also the risk of causing damage to surrounding property or infrastructure. Hiring professionals ensures that all necessary precautions are taken to protect both people and property.

Familiarity With Technology

As we alluded to above, land surveying professionals use advanced equipment and technology to produce accurate results. This includes GPS systems, laser scanners, and other specialized tools that are not typically available to the general public.

Attempting a DIY land survey without this technology can result in inaccurate measurements and unreliable data. By hiring professionals, you can be confident that your project will be completed with the most precise and up-to-date methods available.

Working With Other Entities

Furthermore, anytime other professional entities will be involved in your land surveying project, it’s vital to have a qualified and experienced professional leading the way. This could include architects, engineers, or governmental agencies.

Professional land surveyors are familiar with the processes and requirements of these other entities and can effectively coordinate with them to ensure a successful outcome for your project. Attempting a DIY land survey without this knowledge and experience could lead to delays, misunderstandings, and ultimately, a botched project.

Speed of Work

Speaking of delay avoidance, let’s consider the overall speed of work for a land survey project. With professionals, you can be confident that your project will be completed in a timely manner, as they have the necessary experience and resources to efficiently handle all aspects of the job.

On the other hand, a DIY land survey can often be time-consuming and may result in multiple delays due to lack of expertise or equipment. By hiring professionals, you can save yourself the frustration and wasted time of attempting to do it on your own.

While DIY projects can be a great way to save money and learn new skills, there are certain tasks that should be left to trained professionals for the sake of accuracy, safety, and efficiency. When it comes to land surveying, it’s always best to rely on experienced professionals like the team at Diamond Land Surveying for all your survey needs around SLC and other parts of Utah. Trust us to get the job done right and save yourself time, money, and potential legal troubles in the long run. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation!