Land Surveyors Vs Assistant Land Surveyors

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.