The Push for More Students to Consider Land Surveying Careers

Land surveying students from Vincennes University. Photo courtesy of Vincennes University.


There are a growing number of careers that are connected to the ag industry – including careers in land surveying.

The average of age of Indiana’s land surveyors is 57, so there is a huge need for more students to enter this career field as more professionals within the industry decide to retire.

“We’re trying to get the word out about the opportunities in the profession,” says Eric Meeks, President of the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He’s also the owner of Meeks and Company Professional Surveying, which is based in Columbus, Indiana.

“Outreach is also part of our work development mission,” says Meeks. “We’re trying kind to shed some light on what professional surveying is in Indiana. We’ve made headway, but we’re nowhere near where we need to be.”

Meeks says students who have an ag background may already be well positioned to working in land surveying due to their experience with GPS.

Eric Meeks, President of the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors.

“The equipment may be a little bit different, and the idea and the application may be a little bit different, but at the same time, there’s a lot of shared connections there,” according to Meeks. “We’ve seen people working in agriculture who have been a good candidate. Having that knowledge or that exposure to that technology is somebody that we can bring in and fast-track to work alongside us and do what we do.”

Meeks suggests that students look into Vincennes University, which offers a degree in Surveying Technology.

“I’m a graduate of Vincennes University’s program,” says Meeks. “We’ve seen the numbers in enrollment really take a jump over the last four or five years. The degree they offer is tailored toward putting those young folks into the workforce and most of them are hired before they graduate. There are jobs available and it’s a really fruitful degree. If you go there and you apply yourself and graduate, you’re going to have somewhere to go work after graduating and it’s never been a question.”

Although Purdue University students can receive a minor in Land Surveying, Meeks says that the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors is with working with Purdue to reestablish a full degree program in Land Surveying within the university’s College of Engineering.

What advice does Meeks have for students who may be thinking about a career in land surveying?

“Reach out to a local land surveyor. Reach out to job shadow or find summer employment. We’ve had 17 high school-aged students work for our company through the summers and sometimes even over breaks. We’ve even had a couple go on to pursue careers in land surveying. I don’t know that there’s a surveying company out there that would not grab a hold of you and try to show you the benefits of a career land surveying,” says Meeks.

Click HERE to read MORE about the career opportunities available in land surveying. 

Click BELOW to hear the FULL PODCAST interview with Eric Meeks, President of the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, as he discusses the need for more skilled land surveyors in Indiana.


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