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If you’re constantly involved in a new construction project, you may have once asked yourself – what’s the difference between an engineer and a land surveyor? After all, they both visit the site frequently throughout the entire process.

While both require complimentary skills, they are two entirely different jobs. Without prior knowledge, you may not be able to tell the two apart. Here’s what you need to know about both engineers and land surveyors, as well as how they help each other the whole way through a project.


The job of an engineer on-site widely varies. They can be a part of any team needed for the project, not limited to – aeronautical, architectural, mechanical, structural and electrical. An engineer will solely work on one aspect of a construction project or during one particular step. No matter what the engineer is there for, it’s a certainty they will interact with the land surveyor on hand.


A land surveyor’s job is a lot different than that of an engineer. For one, they provide the site information to working architects and engineers. This allows the latter two to plan out their part in the construction project while taking into consideration site-specific details only a land surveyor can provide. As an example, a civil engineer must first understand the land they’re building on and where boundary lines are before teaming with the architect on a bridge design. The engineer has to be certain if the land is suitable for bridge footings, requires leveling and is devoid of obstructions; only a land surveyor can provide that information.

During the construction process, the land surveyor will have to work with the engineering team. They play a vital role in the blueprint phase of a project, providing GPS coordinates and other essential data. It’s the surveyor’s job to ensure that the construction plan is precise day in and day out. If there’s any deviance – even just millimeters – the land surveyor will conduct additional surveys, known as “as-built” or construction surveys, to make sure the design stays aligned to the approved blueprint.


There’ll never be a construction project where a land surveyor will work alone, especially without other land surveyors. Even with today’s land surveying technology, a team of land surveyors work together to calculate a construction project’s angles and boundaries. Having more than just one measurement of a project site better guarantees accuracy and precision.

Keep in mind, land surveying is an art, not a true science. One land surveyor may have a different take and pull different numbers than the land surveyor next to them. That makes it all the more important a team of land surveyors work on a project together.

Here at Adkan Engineers, our team of engineers and land surveyors work in tandem on every project large or small. You’ll see both teams on a project site frequently. When you see our teams, don’t be shy to talk to us.