Land Surveyor

Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing | Division of Licensing


Land surveyors plan, organize, and direct the work of one or more survey parties engaged in measuring distances, directions, and angles between points and elevations of points, lines, and contours on the earth\\’s surface. They plan the fieldwork to determine the precise location of natural and constructed features of the survey project area; research legal records to look for evidence of previous boundaries; develop new data from photogrammetric records; determine methods and procedures for establishing or reestablishing survey control; keep accurate notes, records, and sketches to describe and certify work performed; and, coordinate findings with work of engineering and architectural personnel, clients, and others concerned with the project.

Code Citation IC, Chapter 542B; IAC, Chapter 5

Who Applies Any individual wishing to obtain a license to practice land surveying in Iowa.

When To Apply After education and experience requirements are met and before practice begins. NCEES examinations are offered at various times. Check for deadlines.

Initial Requirements An applicant for licensure in land surveying must have graduated from a post-secondary course of two years or more in mathematics, physical sciences, mapping and surveying, or engineering and up to 6 years of experience depending upon the degree earned. After successfully passing an examination on fundamental surveying subjects, the applicant can be certified as a land surveyor intern. Those who complete four years of acceptable experience as a land surveyor intern are qualified to take the Principles and Practice of Land Surveying examination. Licensure as a land surveyor will be granted to those who pass the second examination, including the state-specific exam.

Duration Biennial renewal is required to remain active. Licenses issued in an even-numbered year expire in an odd-numbered year. Licenses issued in an odd-numbered year expire in an even-numbered year.

Processing Time After receipt of a complete application, the application is reviewed by the Board before the applicant takes the examination.

Fee Structure Application: $150 – Comity (if licensed in another state) $100 – Principles and Practice of Land Surveying & Fundamentals of Land Surveying Renewal: $100 – Active $40 – Inactive Other: $15 – Certificate

Renewal Requirements Thirty hours of continuing education (professional development hours) are required biennially for license renewal.

Exam The Fundamentals of Land Surveying Examination is a computer-based exam. The Principles and Practice of Land Surveying Examination, a national exam and a Iowa Specific Land Surveyor exam. Applicants for licensure by comity from another jurisdiction who meet all other requirements for licensure must pass the Iowa Specific Land Surveyor examination to obtain a license to practice in Iowa.

Additional Information Any individual wishing to obtain a license to practice land surveying in Iowa.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board Administrator
200 E. Grand Ave.
Ste. 350
Des Moines, IA 50309