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Requirements for Licensure as a Land Surveyor in Georgia

Three types of applicants may apply for licensure as a Land Surveyor, LSITs (Land Surveyor in Training, also known as Surveyor Intern “SI”), and out of state registrants. Out of state residents will only be considered for comity licensure (except for active duty military personnel) per Board Policy 04-02. Applicants who have been licensed in another state or have obtained LSIT in another state must meet all current Georgia requirements except for those registrants who were licensed prior to 1978 or 1968 and qualify for the provisions of OCGA 43-15-16(b). Certain Georgia county surveyors may also be eligible to sit for the land surveyor examination battery (LSIT and LS exams) under provisions of OCGA 36-7-2(c).

  1. Land Surveyor in Training

    Unless exempted by one of the exceptions listed above, the first step towards licensure as a Land Surveyor is to obtain a Land Surveyor in Training certificate. Applicants must qualify under one of three routes based upon their education level. Regardless of education level, all applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 15 quarter hours (or 9 semester hours) in Land Surveying Subjects and 5 quarter hours (or 3 semester hours) in Hydrology per OCGA 43-15-12(2) and as further detailed in the Board’s Land Surveying Course Acceptance Policy. Applicants must also complete and submit the Land Surveyor in Training application, appropriate fees, transcripts, experience endorsements, and references from five persons not related to the applicant, three of which must be Land Surveyors per OCGA 43-15-15(d). Additionally, all applicants must pass the LSIT exam. Applicants who do not successfully pass the exam after four offerings will only be considered for reexamination after successful completion of six semester hours of approved courses in the applicant’s area of deficiency per Board Policy 04-08.

    1. Bachelor Degree Holders OCGA 43-15-12(1)(A)

      Applicants who have earned a bachelor degree in Land Surveying or a qualified related field such as Civil Engineering (or Civil Engineering Technology), Forestry, Agricultural Engineering, or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are qualified to sit for the LSIT exam without experience. Bachelor degrees that are not in a related field will be recognized as associate degree equivalent. Any experience gained before submittal of an application under this route will not be evaluated (per Board Policy 10-03) although such experience may apply towards the later requirements for the Land Surveyor application. Graduating seniors may also qualify to sit for the LSIT examination under Board Policy 10-02.

    2. Associate Degree Holders OCGA 43-15-12(1)(B)

      Applicants who have earned an associate degree in Land Surveying or a qualified related field such as Civil Engineering Technology, Instrumentation Technology, or Forestry Science. Bachelor degrees in non-related fields will be considered as a course of study approved by the Board as the equivalent of a related associate degree. In addition to the required degree, applicants under this route must also submit verification of at least 2 years of combined office and field experience. This experience must meet all requirements of Board Rule 180-4-.02.

    3. High School Diploma or Equivalent OCGA 43-15-12(1)(C)

      Applicants who have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent may apply for the LSIT examination provided that they have met the minimum education requirements under OCGA 43-15-12(2) and the Board’s Land Surveying Course Acceptance Policy. In addition to these required courses, applicants under this route must also submit verification of at least 4 years of experience in land surveying of a nature satisfactory to the board. This experience must meet all requirements of Board Rule 180-4-.02. Experience may be discounted or not considered that was obtained prior to the completion of the required course work.

  2. Land Surveyor

    After obtaining the Land Surveyor in Training certificate, applicants must meet the associated experience requirements for licensure according to the education level and application route used in the LSIT application. Applicants must also complete and submit the Land Surveyor application, appropriate fees, transcripts, experience endorsements, and references from five persons not related to the applicant, three of which must be Land Surveyors per OCGA 43-15-15(d). Additionally, all applicants must pass the Georgia Land Surveyor exam. Applicants who do not successfully pass the exam after four offerings will only be considered for reexamination after successful completion of six semester hours of approved courses in the applicant’s area of deficiency per Board Policy 04-08.

    1. Bachelor Degree Holders OCGA 43-15-13(1)

      Applicants must submit proof of a minimum of four years of combined field and office experience, three of which must be in responsible charge of land surveying projects and all must comply with elements of Board Rule 180-4-.02. Experience gained before obtaining the LSIT certificate can be considered under this route.

    2. Associate Degree Holders OCGA 43-15-13(2)

      Applicants must submit proof of a minimum of four years of combined field and office experience that is additional to the experience used in the LSIT application. Board Rule 180-4-.02 provides that this additional experience may begin as early as the date that the applicant passed the LSIT exam. Additionally, the applicant must demonstrate that at least four years of their total experience is in responsible charge of land surveying projects. Some of the four years in responsible charge can be included in the experience used in the LSIT application. All experience submitted for consideration must comply with Board Rule 180-4-.02.

    3. High School Diploma or Equivalent OCGA 43-15-13(3)

      Applicants must submit proof of a minimum of four years of combined field and office experience that is additional to the experience used in the LSIT application. Board Rule 180-4-.02 provides that this additional experience may begin as early as the date that the applicant passed the LSIT exam. Additionally, the applicant must demonstrate that at least six years of their total experience is in responsible charge of land surveying projects. Some of the six years in responsible charge can be included in the experience used in the LSIT application. All experience submitted for consideration must comply with Board Rule 180-4-.02.

Land Surveying Education Evaluation Policy 2018

SB 425 Signing

This policy replaces the 2005 Land Surveying Course Acceptance Policy.

The 2018 policy seeks to achieve two objectives. First, to transition away from course and school specific acceptance to a format and content approach. Secondly, to respond to statutory changes in the education requirement in OCGA 43-15-12 and 43-15-12 by SB 425 which becomes effective July 1, 2018.

The education requirement transitions from the pre-SB425 requirements to the new requirements with a 2 year grandfathering period which expires for new applications starting July 1, 2020. This specifically affects 1) the amount of formal education required and the 2) optional hydrology course work and exam depending on the path taken. Courses will be acceptable if successfully passed at a college or university where the degree or certificate program has achieved applicable accreditation. Applicants will be asked to provide which courses in their transcript satisfy the Board’s specific criteria. Applicants will also be responsible for providing any requested information such as syllabi, accreditation, course descriptions, etc. to aid the Board in evaluating courses presented. The required content may be provided in different courses, but credit will not be given for redundant material.

  1. During the transition period, applicants may qualify for examination as an SI or PLS under either the prior requirements or the new. The prior requirements are set forth in 43-15-12(b) which is 15 quarter hours (9 semester hours) in land surveying and 5 quarter hours (3 semester hours) in applied hydrology and applicable prerequisites. The new requirements are set forth in 43-15-12(a)(2) and consist of 18 semester hours in surveying.

    43-15-12(b) applicants are required to provide courses which meet criteria S1, S2, and S3 as set forth below, as well as HP1, HP2, and AH.

    43-15-12(a)(3) applicants are required to provide courses which meet criteria S1, S2, S3, S4, and additional course work needed to satisfy the 18 semester hour requirement.

  2. Beginning July 1, 2018 the hydrology examination is optional for all applicants. Professional Land Surveyors who opt to be examined in hydrology and design will be indicated on their license record as “Hydrology and Design Authorized” (see OCGA 43-15-13.1(2)). All other new licensees will be indicated simply as “current” (standard) licensure status. Applicants wishing to be examined to become a Hydrology and Design Authorized PLS are required to provide courses which meet criteria HP1, HP2, and AH as well as pass the Georgia Hydrology Exam. Courses and programs that are being accepted and recognized prior to July 1, 2018 will continue to be recognized through the 2 year period, until July 1, 2020.

Required Course Criteria

S1: Foundation in surveying. The course would cover the basics of surveying coordinate geometry, surveying calculations, traversing and leveling, topography & contours, proper field procedures, and basic cartography. Prerequisites should include trigonometry and a course in drafting, engineering graphics, CAD, cartography, or similar background. Course should include lab in surveying, measurements, etc. This course might be offered under names such as "Elementary Surveying", "Surveying 1", "Geomatics Measurements", etc.

S2: Advanced surveying course. The course would cover state plane coordinates, mapping projections, advanced field techniques, route and alignment surveys, volumetric calculations, construction staking techniques, and data collection.  Appropriate lab application should be included in the course. This course might be offered under names such as "Advanced Surveying", "Route Surveying", "Surveying 2", etc.

S3: Legal Aspects course. The course would include history of land division systems, basic property rights, legal descriptions, written conveyances, unwritten conveyances, retracing the footsteps of older surveys, junior-senior rights, prescription and adverse possession, hierarchy of controlling monuments and title elements, disputes and litigation. This course might be offered under names such as “Legal Aspects of Surveying”, “Boundary Law, “Property Law”, etc.

S4: Professional Practice course. The course would prepare the applicant for professional practice as a Professional Land Surveyor and would include subdivision design, site layout, zoning and land use regulations, professional ethics, and business practice.

S5+: Additional courses in surveying and related applicable fields include higher level material such as GIS, geodesy, geodetic surveying, photogrammetry, advanced boundary law, remote sensing, dendrology, spatial analysis, and surveying adjustments. Partial credit may be given for some courses which contain partially applicable material.

HP1: Hydrology Prerequisite 1. This course would follow a physics sequence and cover the general engineering principles of mechanics and statics.

HP2: Hydrology Prerequisite 2. This course would follow the mechanics/statics course and concentrate in fluid mechanics, pressurized flow, and hydraulics.

AH: Applied Hydrology. This course covers watershed analysis and the design of culverts, multi-structure systems, retention ponds, and open channel flow.

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