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A.A.S. Land Surveying Technology


Land surveying technology students obtain a sound technical background in fundamental land surveying principles, techniques and skills. They become well-rounded technical specialists capable of teamwork, communication and problem solving, and they develop life-long learning skills and abilities.

The program provides students with a combination of surveying and land resource knowledge and related skills which are not available elsewhere. Students will be thoroughly exposed to the field of land surveying through a carefully planned combination of classroom lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experience. The educational program in land surveying technology, leading to the associate of applied science degree in land surveying technology, is accredited by the ETAC Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org/.


As land values increase, technology advances, and laws and regulations become more complex, the education of land surveyors has become increasingly important. This degree addresses the educational needs of the student interested in pursuing a career in surveying, as well as the needs of surveying employers. Students are exposed to the fundamentals of forest technology that are important to the land surveyor and receive a more in-depth education in the area of surveying technology.

This degree provides the student with knowledge and skills in surveying measurements and computations; the ability to work and communicate effectively with professional land surveyors, survey technicians, lawyers, and the general public; an understanding of the principles and practices of surveying with particular emphasis on boundary surveying; and an understanding of land resource concepts important to the surveyor. Students graduate with an A.A.S. degree in land surveying technology.

Generally, graduates are employed by privately owned, small- to mid-size surveying firms specializing in boundary, construction, and topographic surveying. Graduates may be employed as entry-level technicians performing a variety of tasks, including operating various surveying instruments, note keeping, drafting, and computer operation. Employment is also possible with local, state and federal agencies such as the state Department of Transportation, State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

Two years of educational credit is given toward land surveying licensure in New York.  Additional field and office experience under the direct supervision of a licensed land surveyor is needed prior to application to obtain a license.

Transfer into other baccalaureate programs at a variety of institutions is possible. Students are encouraged to consult with the appropriate admissions office to discuss transfer options.

During the first year, students who plan on enrolling are encouraged to take small business management and additional mathematics as electives.

Given the nature of the curriculum, the availability of high-tech equipment, and the necessity of individualized instruction, entry into this area of study is limited to 15 students.

Program Objectives

Program educational objectives are defined as “broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve”.  We expect our graduates:

  • To have a sound technical background in the fundamental land surveying principles, techniques, and skills.
  • To be well-rounded technical specialists in terms of teamwork, communication and problem solving.
  • To be well prepared for an entry level position in land surveying
  • To have developed life-long learning skills and abilities.

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes are defined as “what a student should have demonstrated by the time the student graduates from the program.”  These are:

  • Describe and understand the geographic location of points, features and boundaries above, on or below the surface of the earth.
  • Describe and analyze land surveying principles and factors that influence the possession of land.
  • Utilize accepted technical skills and methods required for field and office employment in the land surveying profession.
    • Collect and record a variety of land observations and measurements using appropriate tools and technologies, and to analyze and summarize field data and observations for a variety of uses.
    • Demonstrate proficiency with maps and remotely sensed images, including an ability to safely navigate to and between field sites under a variety of conditions using various technologies, and to interpret and produce spatially accurate representations of field locations and features.
  • Understand the importance of a positive professional demeanor and strong work ethic.
    • Demonstrate a positive work ethic and the capability to work independently with minimum supervision, as a survey party member, or as a survey party chief.
    • Demonstrate understanding of the social and economic framework of land surveying and the role and ethical responsibilities of land surveying technicians.
    • Demonstrate an ability to communicate and interact effectively and professionally, both orally and in writing.


High school students are encouraged to apply for admission by following the appropriate application procedures. Accepted applicants will be guaranteed a place for their sophomore year at the Wanakena Campus upon successful completion of the first year requirements. Students not applying while in high school should apply in the fall semester of their freshman year of college. All applicants are encouraged to contact The Ranger School to arrange for a tour of the campus and its facilities.

Facilities and Equipment

All classes are taught at The Ranger School which houses the classrooms, drafting room, library, and computer room in addition to dormitory rooms, dining hall and offices. The Ranger School's 2,800-acre forest provides an excellent outdoor laboratory. A fully equipped instrument room stores a variety of surveying equipment for field-based learning. Students are introduced to and will use equipment ranging from basic surveying tools to some of the most advanced and sophisticated surveying equipment available.

Employment Opportunities

The Ranger School graduates are extremely employable. Opportunities are available with professional surveying companies, civil engineering companies, and utility corporations. Public agencies employing land surveying technicians include city, county and state surveying offices as well as federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service. Professional land surveyors are involved with a variety of duties and responsibilities including researching deeds, compiling and analyzing data, map making, writing deed descriptions and communicating with clients.

Course of Study

First Year Required Courses
(completed at a college of the student’s choice)

Course Codes* Credits
General Biology with lab 4
Physics 4
English with a Focus on Writing (Two 3-credit courses) 6
Trigonometry or pre-calculus (1 course) 3
Economics/Policy/Government 3

Total Maximum Transfer Credits


Second Year Required Courses

FTC 200Dendrology 3
FTC 202Introduction to Surveying 3
FTC 204Introduction to Natural Resources Measurements 4
FTC 205Computer Aided Drafting and Design 1 2
FTC 206Forest Ecology 4
FTC 207Communications and Safety 3
FTC 208Remote Sensing and GIS Technology 3
FTC 214Leadership and Organizational Performance 2
FTC 225Timber Transportation and Utilization 2
FTC 239GIS Practicum 1
FTC 251Advanced Surveying Measurements and Computations 4
FTC 253Survey Law 3
FTC 255Boundary Surveying 3
FTC 256Subdivision Surveys 2
FTC 257Construction and Topographic Surveys 3
FTC 259Computer Aided Drafting and Design II 2

Student Enrollment and Graduation Rates

Academic Year Enrolled Graduated
2021-2022 9 7
2020-2021 4 4
2019-2020 3 3
2018-2019 3 3
2017-2018 9 9
2016-2017 6 5
2015-2016 10 10
2014-2015 11 11
2013-2014 13 13
2012-2013 6 6
2011-2012 7 5
2010-2011 9 9
2009-2010 9 8