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Professional Land Surveyor

Also called a “Licensed Land Surveyor”, the Professional Surveyor is an accredited professional who conducts land surveys to measure and define real property and its boundaries. The professional may denote their certification as Professional Surveyor (P.S.), Licensed Surveyor (L.S.), Professional Land Surveyor (P.L.S.), Registered Land Surveyor (R.L.S.), Registered Professional Land Surveyor (R.P.L.S.), or Professional Surveyor and Mapper (P.S.M.). In the U.S., the most common designation is P.S., while in Canada they are referred to as Canada Land Surveyor (C.L.S.).

Licensed Surveyors may work as a sole proprietor or contract surveyor, or may be employed by a Land survey company. Land surveying companies often take the form of a survey coordination firm, where a large network of professional surveyors are contracted by a smaller group of staff professional surveyors. The staff surveyors serve as the single point of contact with the client, coordinate with the contract surveyor to conduct the land survey, and then review the land survey or “plat” for the client’s specifications and quality assurance/quality control.

Licensed Surveyors are considered distinct from professional engineers; however, the fields are often closely related, particularly in civil engineering.

Land Survey and Zoning Terminology