Post by Ian Gillespie on May 29, 2019 19:37:42 GMT
In 1980 the number of registered surveyors in NZ was 587 or 186 for every one-million of the general population. By 2018 the number was 698 or a fall to 146 for every one-million of the general population.
This is a decline of approximately 1 surveyor every year for every one-million population. Logically there will be no licensed surveyors left by 2164. (I’m not convinced that the numbers published by the CSLB fully represent the situation when it is possible to retain a practicing certificate with very low levels of surveys done.)
I present these facts here in two graphs: One for those who believe there is no problem and one for those who fret woefully over the situation.
It’s no wonder that surveyors see that there are other, easier, career pathways to follow.
But I think there is still a demand for licensed surveyors and would like to see a growth rather than a decline in the numbers.
I wonder also if some surveys are done under the supervision of a surveyor who is not licensed with the licensed surveyor only supplying their “signature”. Assuming this is the case then I believe more effort should be made to encourage non-licensed surveyors practicing cadastral surveying to join the ICS and benefit from the advancement of ideas relating to cadastral surveying.
As surveying in NZ has become more specialized, I also wonder if it is time re-discuss the idea that a pathway to become licensed should be open to those who have surveying diplomas followed by the appropriate examinations for licensing through the CSLB.
I do wonder if the range of options that students are given at the Survey School in Dunedin, while broadening their skill base is actually also reducing the number going into cadastral surveying and seeing other fields as being not only interesting but viable in terms of earnings. By this I mean other related fields such as planning, hydrographic surveying, lazer scanning, GIS, survey hardware and software development etc etc.
I would also think that the 2010 SG Rules and attitudes of risk averse public authorities are also making things tough for existing licensed cadastral surveyors and if graduates saw what we are going through, they would not be overly motivated to get a license. I also feel that graduates are now paid more relative to licensed surveyors than they were (this is my local experience and personal opinion only) - I'm not sure if what some licensed surveyors earn would motivate graduates to get a license more that look at other opportunities within the wider sphere of surveying.
It would be interesting to hear other peoples views on the decline - I think you've raised a point that the industry needs to look more closely at.
When I went through University (2002-2005) we were frequently told that very few surveyors were involved in predominantly cadastral work, and that if we went into consultancies in NZ we would mostly be involved in land development, as this was where the work was. It was something of a relief to find myself at Andersen & Associates which didn't sully its hands with such things as green fields. In my current firm the reality is much closer to that described at survey school - land development and support for residential and commercial construction, a lot of emerging technology stuff (UAVs and laser scanning) and a relatively trivial amount of 'cadastral surveying'.
While I sympathise with Mark's point regarding the sisyphean battle with local authorities and to a lesser extent LINZ, I doubt this has much to do with it. I think the second point is more germane - there isn't much motivation to get licensed if you are high off the hog as a graduate, and there are lots of well-paying surveying roles outside the LCS sphere.
I also know a large number of licensed surveyors who barely sign a plan from one year to the next (even I only do about 15 per year, and I handle the bulk of the 'small stuff' in our firm) and who spend most of their time doing non-cadastral stuff, so maybe the need for qualified LCSs is diminishing. I certainly think the skillset is under-valued.