In my opinion, one of the most important parts of a Land Surveyors career is mentoring. The old tradition of Master/Apprentice has somewhat disappeared with the “Age of information”. Somehow we believe that the apprentice will receive all they need for the colleges, computers and the internet. Colleges provide a broad base of knowledge that you cannot get from a single master, computers are great at crunching the numbers and making maps and the internet serves as a great informational resources, but that one on one training is priceless. On-the job training is the real deal. No tests just do it.

The old hard line of master/apprentice has served the profession well. Think about your mentor. What did he/she instill in you that you still use today? Nothing impressed me more than Mr. Billy Jenkins yelling at me “Don’t forget to turn that vertical angle boy… and plane geometry boy … plane geometry ” just seems to stick (in South Florida who turns vertical angles).

For me there is a personal satisfaction when I pass on the knowledge of the profession. It also helps for your exit strategy.


Vertical angles??? Is that referring to the superelevated curve on the highway? Hahaha.

You hit it on the head though about the mentor. Almost everything we learn in school is theory. Observing and being a part of the practice of Surveying alongside PSM’s is what will get the SIT to a point where we can be productive members of the profession.


Bill drilled that into me. I will never forget his words.
In a subtle way I was alluding to responsible charge in the field as well.

My son is a Marine veteran. He told me that the Marines require that their pilots (officers) be proficient and stay proficient with a rife just like the infantryman. The idea is this will let the pilot (officer) better understand what the guy on the ground is going through. This was important to my son, it gave him a kindred to the officer.
The same idea hold true for you as a surveyor, understanding what the field work is like and what it take to get those “dots” is very important and it lets the field guy know that you know.

Knowledge is great by understanding is key.