Charting Your Path: Becoming a Land Surveyor in Utah
March 5, 2024
By: Cook Surveying Engineer
become a surveyor in Utah, land surveying career, Utah land surveyors, surveying licensure in Utah, land surveying education, NCEES FS exam, Utah surveying laws

Embarking on a career as a land surveyor in Utah offers an opportunity to explore diverse landscapes, from Salt Lake City’s urban sprawl to Moab’s majestic red rocks. This profession, rooted in precision and legal expertise, is crucial in shaping the state’s development and conserving its natural beauty. If you’re considering this rewarding career path, here’s a comprehensive guide on becoming a licensed land surveyor in the Beehive State.

Educational Foundations

To start, aspiring land surveyors need a solid educational foundation. In Utah, this typically means:

  • Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree: Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in surveying, geomatics, or a related field accredited by ABET (the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Utah offers several programs at institutions like the University of Utah, which provide the necessary technical and theoretical background. More about ABET accreditation can be found here.
  • Alternative Pathways: For those who have an associate degree or relevant surveying experience, Utah allows for alternative pathways to licensure, which may require additional work experience.

Gaining Practical Experience

Practical experience is a cornerstone of becoming a proficient surveyor. In Utah, candidates must complete:

  • Internship Under a Licensed Surveyor: Practical training under the guidance of an experienced professional is invaluable. Look for internship opportunities or entry-level positions that offer hands-on experience in land surveying.

Licensure Examination

Passing the national and state-specific licensure examinations is a critical step:

  • Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) Exam: Administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), the FS exam is the first hurdle. It covers topics learned during your degree program. Details on the FS exam are available here.
  • Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) Exam: After gaining the required experience, candidates are eligible for the PS exam, also offered by NCEES, which focuses on practical applications of surveying.
  • Utah-Specific Exam: Additionally, Utah requires a state-specific examination that tests knowledge of local laws and surveying practices relevant to the state’s unique environment.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Utah requires licensed surveyors to engage in continuing education to maintain their licensure. This includes:

  • Ongoing Learning: Participate in workshops, seminars, and courses that cover advancements in surveying technology, changes in legal regulations, and other relevant topics.

Joining Professional Organizations

Becoming a member of professional organizations, such as the Utah Council of Land Surveyors (UCLS), can provide networking opportunities, resources, and further educational opportunities. Learn more about UCLS and its benefits here.


Becoming a licensed land surveyor in Utah is a journey that requires dedication, education, and a commitment to continuous learning. With its unique geographical challenges and opportunities, Utah offers a dynamic environment for surveyors. By following the steps outlined above, you can embark on a fulfilling career path that contributes to the development and preservation of Utah’s landscapes.

For those looking to start their journey or seeking professional surveying services in Utah, Cook Surveying offers a wealth of resources and expertise to guide you.

Have any questions, give us a call here at Cook Surveying & Associates. (801) 364-4051

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