Surveyors use a variety of instruments to establish boundaries and determine various other features of the landscape which they can then transcribe to paper. In this overview, I will describe the process of becoming a surveyor in general, with emphasis on the preliminary stages of pursuing this career. I will then go on to discuss the steps necessary to become a surveyor in Tennessee, including the state-specific qualifications and the Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors (TAPs), a website dedicated to promoting the profession of surveying in Tennessee (http://www.taps-inc.com).
In order to pursue a career as a surveyor in Tennessee, it is important for us to understand the pre-requisites needed to become a surveyor in general. The website for The National Society of Professional Surveyors (http://www.surveyingcareer.com/become_surveyor/become_index.html) describes the initial steps one must take to get started.
Firstly, it explains that you need to obtain a degree from an ABET-accredited school which offers a surveying education program. Secondly, you need to undertake a fundamental exam which allows potential employers to recognize your level of study. At the University of Tennessee you can sit the Tennessee Professional Land Surveyor-in-Training Exam (http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/surveying/) while you complete a four year degree in a related discipline (Agricultural Systems Technology Concentration for example). After the exam, you need to gain work experience by working with a licensed surveyor.
After you have gained the necessary work experience you may have to sit a state-specific exam, depending on the state in which you intend to work. To become a licensed surveyor in Tennessee you will need to sit a 2 hour, multiple-choice, open book exam called the Tennessee Specific Land Surveying examination. Information about the specific nature of the questions in this exam can be found on the state website (http://www.state.tn.us/commerce/boards/surveyors/examInfo.shtml).
Once you have passed the exam, there are a number of associations you can contact to secure employment. One of the most notable is the Tennessee Association of Professional Surveyors (TAPS). The TAPS website (http://www.taps-inc.com) is a valuable resource which promotes surveying as a profession, helps to unite surveyors of Tennessee, and assists those who want to become surveyors.
In this discussion, we have explored the initial process of becoming a surveyor and identified the requirements needed for individuals to become licensed surveyors in the state of Tennessee.