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Lady Land Surveyor and Bull$hit Walks

Lady Land Surveyor Is anybody else following @lady_land_surveyoraz on Instagram? She's a young mom who co-owns a surveying business in Arizona with her dad. She's quite a character with her made-for-media personality and willingness to let the audience into her personal as well as professional life. Her following is modest by Instagram standards but rather impressive for the surveying community. With several sponsors now showing up in her content feed, I dare say that Farrah (her first name) has graduated to Social Media "influencer" status which speaks not to the number of followers but to her impact on the profession. Like it or not, she's been able to achieve what few if any other surveyors have: build a brand and audience by telling an entertaining and engaging story.

There's no filter with Farrah. She's at ease playing the role of tomboy or girly girl. One day she'll be working on a jobsite covered in dust and wearing a hard hat, the next day made up and dressed for a night out with friends. It's all part of the charm offensive but make no mistake, her street cred is legit. She and her dad do the same type survey work as anyone else and in the tough Arizona environment to boot. At a time when the profession struggles to attract young people, Farrah brings a youthful energy, perspective and spirit we desperately need. She's by nature a great communicator who, if given the right platform, could be a voice for the profession. By having the courage to share her story, she's filling an unmet need the typical surveying publications are ignoring. She's also proving that surveying and Social Media are good for one another. Money Talks, Bull$hit Walks Last week, I posted on several Facebook groups asking for suggestions on how to connect with surveyors. Here's what I wrote: Feeling a bit overwhelmed today. There are so many surveying job openings and so few candidates. My job is to help Loran at Surveyor Placement Services identify ways to connect with qualified candidates. But I'm a land surveyor first, not a recruiting guru. I really don't know the best ways to connect with you all. Any suggestions? I was surprised by the responses, many of which didn't address the original question. Instead, many surveyors saw an opportunity to address the issue of adequate pay and compensation in the profession, or lack thereof. It was their way of saying that one solution to our labor shortage is for employers to simply pay more. Check out what they said: It's just a damn shame when companies don't pay what an experienced surveyor should make. Reggie C. To get any interest your going to have to match what Amazon and other large corporations are offering,,, it’s hard to match $ 20-22. Starting that’s where all our candidates are. Timothy T. MONEY is probably your best tool put it out there you will get all kinds of results! David V.

I switched over in 2007 from land surveying to construction. The company I worked for hired a less qualified survey manager who gave “breaks” to his friends. They couldn’t afford raises. Went with an international firm who paid for any training I wanted, equipment I wanted, and a helper who I vetted myself. 14 years later I’m highest paid Chief Engineer, company truck for even personal use, and got paid regular pay through my hospital stay for a heart attack. The construction companies are just paying better and willing to put out the money. Don’t get me wrong I miss the days of old but money talks and family needs to eat. And for placement services, just be honest about the companies that your hiring for. We are all out here to provide for our families. Good luck. Brian F. Pay people a lot of money. Chet M. Higher pay fixes any candidate shortage. Sarah W. So, “How do I get people to survey for survey wages?” That’s always been the question hasn’t it? Kevin R. Offer better benefits and or more pay. Brendan S. Yes, I am about done with the crappy pay. The pay rates are pathetic in this business. I have been surveying for 25 years. It is ridiculous. Doug S. What do you think? Does the compensation in the surveying profession match the contributions surveyors make? Sign up as a member of The Tenth Society and let us know in the comments below.

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The comments are not surprising, but in my experience the bigger issue revolves around the amount of compensation that survey companies receive for their services. In terms of construction survey, we take 99% of the liability for 1-2% of the overall budget.

It doesn't help that there are barely legal registrants who will perform a a paper survey and call it a boundary, all for less than it would take for most of us to even get out the door of our office.

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