While surveying is a well-established profession in Australia, the country is currently experiencing severe shortages of Surveyors.
About the surveying profession in Australia
Surveying is the process of measuring and mapping the physical features of a piece of land, including its boundaries, contours, and elevations. Surveyors use a variety of tools, including GPS, lasers, and total stations, to collect data that is used to create maps and plans for construction and development projects.
Surveying has a rich history in Australia and has played a critical role in the country’s development and growth. The first surveys in Australia were carried out by British naval officers in the late 1700s to map the coastline and harbors. Surveying played a critical role in the early colonial period, with cadastral surveys conducted to establish land ownership and boundaries.
In the 1800s, surveyors played a vital role in the exploration and mapping of Australia’s interior with government funding expeditions, and surveyors mapping the country’s vast and often inhospitable terrain. History of Surveying in Australia (Queensland)
As Australia’s cities grew in the 1900s, surveyors were instrumental in the planning and development of infrastructure, including roads, railways, and buildings. They also played a role in creating new suburbs and surveying property boundaries.
Professional organizations for surveyors have played a crucial role in the development and regulation of the profession in Australia. The Institution of Surveyors NSW was founded in 1884, and other organizations, such as the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute and the Association of Consulting Surveyors Australia, have since emerged.
Qualifications and licensing of Surveyors
To become a surveyor in Australia, you will typically need to complete the following steps:
The first step to becoming a surveyor in Australia is to obtain a relevant education. A bachelor’s degree in surveying or a related field, such as geomatics, civil engineering, or spatial science, is usually required. Some universities also offer postgraduate degrees in surveying
After completing your education, you will need to gain work experience in the field. This may involve working as a survey technician or assistant before progressing to a surveyor role. Many employers require candidates to have a certain amount of work experience before hiring them as surveyors.
To work as a surveyor in Australia, you will need to obtain a license from the relevant state or territory authority. The requirements for licensing vary depending on the state or territory, but generally, you will need to complete a period of supervised work experience and pass an exam.
Once you are licensed, it’s essential to engage in ongoing professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, practices, and regulations. Professional development opportunities are available through organizations such as the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute and the Association of Consulting Surveyors Australia.
Types of surveying
There are several types of surveying in Australia, each with its own specific techniques and purposes. Here are some of the most common types of surveying:
Cadastral surveying involves measuring and defining land boundaries for legal and administrative purposes. This type of surveying is essential for the transfer of land ownership and the creation of land titles. Cadastral surveyors also create plans of subdivisions and strata titles, which are used to register land parcels with government authorities.
Engineering surveying involves the measurement and mapping of construction sites and civil engineering projects. This type of surveying is used to create plans for new infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and buildings. Engineering surveyors also provide precise measurements to help with the construction and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
Hydrographic surveying involves the measurement and mapping of bodies of water, including oceans, lakes, and rivers. This type of surveying is used to create nautical charts, which are used by mariners for navigation and safety purposes. Hydrographic surveyors also provide data for coastal management, environmental monitoring, and offshore development projects.
Mining surveying involves the measurement and mapping of mining sites and mineral resources. This type of surveying is used to create mine plans, which are used to guide the extraction of minerals and resources. Mining surveyors also provide data for environmental monitoring, mine safety, and land reclamation.
Geodetic surveying involves the measurement and mapping of the earth’s surface and its gravitational field. This type of surveying is used to establish precise positions for global navigation systems, space missions, and other scientific applications. Geodetic surveyors also provide data for geophysical studies, land management, and urban planning.
Current demand for Surveyors in Australia
Surveyors are currently in huge demand in Australia due to unprecedented spending on major infrastructure projects.
A recent report by BIS Oxford Economics prepared for Consulting Surveyors National — Determining the Future Demand, Supply and Skills Gap for Surveying and Geospatial Professionals: 2022-2032 has revealed the skills shortfall in the surveying and geospatial profession will reach nearly 1,400 professionals nationally by 2024, eventually reaching more than 2,000 in 2029. This equates to an average of 1,500 extra surveyors and geospatial professionals needed each year to meet national demand.
The five-year pipeline of major public infrastructure projects in Australia is valued at $237 billion – an increase of $15 billion in the last 12 months and equivalent to 6.7% growth. Transport projects account for 63% of spending and are concentrated in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland (84% of spend).
There are also ample opportunities in government agencies and private surveying firms. Salaries for surveyors vary depending on experience and location, but the average salary is around $100,000 AUD per year.
There are several professional organizations for surveyors in Australia. These organizations provide support, training, and networking opportunities to their members, as well as promote the surveying profession and advocate for the interests of surveyors in Australia. Some of the main professional organizations for surveyors in Australia include:
- Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI): SSSI is a national organization that represents surveyors, spatial scientists, and other professionals in the surveying and spatial sciences industry. SSSI provides a range of services to its members, including professional development, networking opportunities, and advocacy for the surveying and spatial sciences profession.
- Institution of Surveyors New South Wales (ISNSW): ISNSW is a professional organization that represents surveyors in New South Wales. The organization provides professional development opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for the surveying profession in New South Wales.
- Queensland Spatial and Surveying Association (QSSA): QSSA is a professional organization for surveyors and spatial professionals in Queensland. The organization provides professional development opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for the surveying and spatial sciences profession in Queensland.
- Western Australia Institute of Surveyors (WAIS): WAIS is a professional organization for surveyors in Western Australia. The organization provides professional development opportunities, networking events, and advocacy for the surveying profession in Western Australia.
These organizations are an excellent resource for surveyors in Australia and offer a range of benefits to their members, including access to training, networking opportunities, and advocacy for the profession.
Why are there shortages of Surveyors in Australia?
Australia is currently facing a severe shortage of surveyors, in major cities as well as regional areas. Australia’s surveying workforce has always been reliant on two supply channels: Australians who choose to study surveying and skilled migrants.
Unfortunately, fewer young people choose surveying as a career path, and the supply of skilled migrant surveyors was severely disrupted when Australia’s borders closed for two years during the COVID pandemic. As a result, the supply from both channels has been decreasing at a time when the demand has been increasing.
This shortage has also been attributed to other factors such as an ageing workforce and limited pathways to qualification.
The shortage of surveyors in Australia has had a number of negative impacts, including delays in infrastructure projects, increased costs for businesses, and reduced access to surveying services for individuals and communities. It has also placed increased pressure on existing surveyors, who are being asked to cover larger areas and take on more work.
Efforts are being made to address the shortages including increased investment in surveying education and training programs, initiatives to attract more young people to the field, and targeted migration programs to attract skilled surveyors from overseas.
What visas are available for Surveyors who would like to migrate to Australia?
If you are a surveyor wanting to work in Australia, there are several visa options available to you. The most suitable visa for you will depend on your individual circumstances and the nature of your employment.
Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189): This is a permanent visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a relevant occupation on the Skilled Occupation List and meet the points test.
Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190): This is a permanent visa for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a relevant occupation on the Skilled Occupation List and be nominated by a state or territory government.
Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491): This is a provisional visa for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. This visa is valid for up to 5 years and may lead to permanent residency.
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482): This is a temporary visa for skilled workers who have an employer willing to sponsor them. The visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows you to work for your sponsoring employer in Australia.
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186): This is a permanent visa for skilled workers who have an employer willing to sponsor them. The visa is valid for an indefinite period and allows you to work for your sponsoring employer in Australia.
Working Holiday Visas – These are temporary visas that allow young people from certain countries aged between 18 and 30 (or 35 for some countries) to travel to Australia and work there for up to 12 months.
It is important to note that each visa has its own eligibility requirements, application process, and fees. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a registered migration agent to determine the most suitable visa for your individual circumstances.
ConsultANZ is recruiting Surveyors
We are actively recruiting Surveyors with all levels of experience for current and upcoming projects across Australia.
Our Clients will offer you:
✔️Competitive salary package, negotiable and based on experience;
✔️Gain work experience on a mega infrastructure project with biggest civil construction companies in the World;
✔️ Exceptional training programs for Graduate Surveyors;
✔️ Join Employers that have a strong focus on sustainable solutions for infrastructure and construction and contribute to the advancement of next-generation technologies that meet sustainability targets;
✔️ Long-term employment opportunities with companies that encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
We are now actively interviewing: Graduate Surveyors, Cadet Surveyors, Project Surveyors, Senior Surveyors, Survey Managers. Work rights are preferred as sponsorships are limited. Experience using Leica and Trimble equipment as well as 12D is highly advantageous. Apply now on our website
Finding an Australian employer to sponsor you can be very difficult so we recommend obtaining a visa that gives you full working rights.
The male-dominated construction industry in Australia and New Zealand has high rates of mental health issues and suicide.