Land surveying is an exciting and rewarding profession. However, the land surveyor needs to obtain a land surveying license to undertake this job in the state of Virginia.
The Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects (APELSCIDLA Board) is responsible for granting licenses in Virginia according to the state regulations. Licensed land surveyors must meet requirements in education, exams, and experiences to obtain a license.
Land surveyors measure, analyze, and report land-related data to plan land, sea, and environment. In addition, a land surveyor can work in a related field like remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), photogrammetry, and as a project manager.
- Definition of Terms and Abbreviations
- General Applications Requirements
- Procedure to Become Licensed Land Surveyor
- Procedure for Photogrammetrist Surveyor License
- Procedure and Requirements for Land Surveyor B License
- Additional Documents
Definition of Terms and Abbreviations
Good moral character means the applicant has not been convicted of a felony, making them unsuited for land surveyor positions. Additionally, the candidate should not have committed any act including dishonesty, negligence, or incompetence reasonably regarding the proposed area of practice within ten years of applying for licensure.
Application: completed application with required documents and appropriate fee.
Licensed: a person who holds a valid license issued by the APELSCIDLA Board.
ABET: Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
General Applications Requirements
Candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a land surveyor license in Virginia state:
- Applicants must be of good moral character.
- Applications must be completed within the specified deadline as per the instructions provided by the APELSCIDLA Board and in the form.
- The required exam results shall be received in the APELSCIDLA board's office by the application deadline established by the APELSCIDLA Board. Applications and accompanying materials and references will become the property of the APELSCIDLA Board upon their receipt.
- All required documents and fees shall be submitted to the APELSCIDLA Board within three years, beginning from the date of initial application fee receipt. If the candidate cannot do that, the APELSCIDLA Board will dismiss the application, and the candidate needs to submit a new application.
- The APELSCIDLA Board may conduct further examination regarding the submitted documents and qualifications of the applicant to verify the provided information.
- If a candidate fails to submit additional documents or information required by the board within 60 days of receiving written notice, the application could be rejected. However, when the board does not set a deadline, the application is not likely to be dismissed.
- After considerations, the board may accept an applicant who has not fulfilled the general application requirement based on the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act.
Procedure to Become Licensed Land Surveyor
Education is the first step to become a licensed land surveyor. The application should satisfy one of the following:
- Admitted in an APELSCIDLA Board-approved or ABET-accredited surveying or surveying technology curriculum and have a maximum of 12 months remaining before completion of degree requirements. In addition, the applicant should provide a certificate of good standing from the dean of the school or his designee.
- Graduated with an undergraduate degree from an APELSCIDLA Board-approved or ABET-accredited surveying or surveying technology curriculum.
- Obtained an APELSCIDLA Board-approved undergraduate degree in a field relevant to surveying and possesses at least one year of approved land surveying experience.
- Obtained an APELSCIDLA Board-approved undergraduate degree in a field irrelevant to surveying and possesses at least four years of approved land surveying experience.
- Obtained an APELSCIDLA Board-approved associate’s degree relevant to surveying and possesses at least four years of approved land surveying experience.
- Completed an APELSCIDLA Board-approved survey apprenticeship program that includes a minimum of 480 hours of surveying-related classroom instruction with at least six years of approved land surveying experience.
- Graduate from high school with proof of successful completion of courses in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, and possesses at least eight years of approved land surveying experience.
Fundamentals of Land Surveying (FLS) Exam
An applicant who meets the education requirements can appear for the FLS exam. After passing the FLS exam, the applicant will be designated as surveyor-in-training after passing the exam apart from applicants who are enrolled in an APELSCIDLA Board approved or ABET-accredited surveying or surveying technology curriculum, and a maximum of 12 months remain before completion of a degree requirement. Therefore, applicants need to register correctly before the time specified by the APELSCIDLA Board. The cost of a surveyor-in-training application is $60.
Candidates should work and gain diversified training and experience under the supervision of a licensed land surveyor for a minimum of four years. After that, applicants can appear for the principles and practices of the land surveying exam and Virginia state exam.
Principles and Practices of Land surveying Exam and Virginia-Specific Land Surveying Exam
Applicants can participate in the principles and practices of the land surveying exam and Virginia-specific land surveying exam after gaining good quality land surveying experience. After passing these exams, the candidate will be designated as a licensed land surveyor.
The application fee for a licensed land surveyor is $90. The candidates should register themselves properly before the date specified by the APELSCIDLA Board.
Procedure for Photogrammetrist Surveyor License
Education and Fundamentals of Land Surveying Exam
An applicant seeking a license as a photogrammetrist surveyor should meet the education and fundamentals of land surveying (FLS) Exam requirement and be designated as surveyor-in-training similar to the land surveyor.
Candidates should work and gain progressive and diversified photogrammetrical surveying training and experience or similar remote sensing technology experience under the supervision of a licensed photogrammetrist surveyor for a minimum of four years. After that, applicants can appear for the principles and practices of the photogrammetrical surveying exam and Virginia-specific photogrammetrical surveying exam.
Principles and Practices of Photogrammetrist Surveying Exam and Virginia Specific Photogrammetrist Surveying Exam
Candidates who successfully pass these two exams will receive a license to practice photogrammetrical surveying.
Procedure and Requirements for Land Surveyor B License
- Candidates should have a valid land surveyor license for a minimum of two years.
- Applicants should provide evidence of at least two years of land surveying experience.
- Provide proof of passage in college-level courses in hydrology and hydraulics that are accepted by the APELSCIDLA Board.
- Pass the exam developed by the APELSCIDLA Board.
- Candidates who meet these requirements and pass the exam will be granted a land surveyor B license.
Foreign Degree Authentication
Foreign candidates who have earned their degree outside of the United States need to authenticate and evaluate their degree by an education evaluation service that the APELSCIDLA Board accepts.
References submitted to the APELSCIDLA Board should meet the following conditions:
- The written reference need not be more than one year old when the APELSCIDLA Board's office receives the application.
- The person who gives the reference should have known the candidate for a minimum of one year.
- The individual providing the reference is ineligible to approve the experience of the applicant.
- The individual who gives the reference must have known the candidate for the last five years from the date of application to the APELSCIDLA Board.
- The applicant of the fundamentals of land surveying (FLS) exam should provide one reference that shows his integrity from a land surveyor, immediate work supervisor, or the dean or his designee of the school attended by the candidate.
- The applicant of principles and practices of land surveying exam needs to provide three references from a land surveyor licensed in a state or other United States jurisdiction. The land surveyor should have knowledge regarding the applicants' integrity and competence concerning their land surveying experience.
Language and Comprehension
- If the applicant's first language is not English and they have not graduated from an institution in which English was the language of instruction, then they need to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) result to the APELSCIDLA Board.
- The score report must not be more than two years old at the time of application, and the score should be within the APELSCIDLA Board's limits.
- Applicants for licensure or certification should speak and write English to the APELSCIDLA Board's satisfaction.
Land surveying is the process of determining the features and boundaries of properties.
The essential steps to becoming a professional land surveyor in the Virginia State are education, passing fundamentals of surveying, gaining experience for a minimum of four years, and giving principles and practices of land surveying exam and Virginia specific land surveying exam.