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Land Surveying Industry Certification / Licensing

Certification as a Land Surveyor-in-Training (LSIT) is the first step required under California law towards becoming a licensed Professional Land Surveyor.

In order to be eligible for the LSIT certification, students must register for and pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). We highly recommend that students complete the FS exam at or near the completion of their COC degree or certificate program while their varied coursework is still fresh as the exam covers a broad range of material.


The NCEES develops, administers, and scores both the FS exam and the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam. Information on the FS or PS exam (including exam dates, fees, exam content, sample exams, etc.) can be found on the NCEES website.

logo - Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Each state has specific licensing requirements. In California, the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) is responsible for licensing and licensing requirements.

The initial step to licensure as a professional surveyor in California is to obtain certification as a Land Surveyor-in-Training. To determine if you are eligible for the LSIT certificate, the BPELSG has provided a flowchart.

In general, to be eligible for the LSIT Certification, applicants must have:

Two years of postsecondary (college-level) land surveying education.
Two years or more of land surveying-related work experience.
A combination of postsecondary (college-level) land surveying education and land surveying-related work experience totaling two years.
Previously passed the NCEES Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam.

Obtaining full licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) in California requires both work experience and successful completion of written examinations. To determine if you are eligible for the PLS License, the BPELSG has created a flowchart.

The BPELSG has also created a flowchart of the process to become a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS). Note that you must pass the NCEES PS exam and the California State specific exams in order to qualify for licensure. You must also meet the qualifying experience requirements. Review the Professional Land Surveyor (PLS)  Application for additional information and specific licensing requirements.

3 Surveyors working on the North Slope, Alaska, USA.