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Survey Assistant

Gain the entry-level skills to start your career in the in-demand surveying profession.

Program Image
Start Date:
Typical Length:
18 Weeks
College Certificate

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Get introduced to the basics of surveying in this short program that graduates you with the skills needed to start your career or pursue further training as a Survey Technician

You learn:

  • Operation and maintenance of survey instruments and equipment, such as: levels, total stations, and GNSS (GPS) systems.
  • Manual and digital data recording and calculation techniques.
  • Supporting construction surveying through grading, road and site layout.
  • Assisting legal boundary surveys by locating evidence, setting new monumentation, clearing and blazing wooded boundaries.
  • Communication skills involving technical memos and reports.
  • You get hands-on training using surveying instruments and equipment in the field and on your work placement. You also have the option to partner with students and faculty in other Geomatics programming on applied projects.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 3 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) provides a focused approach to geomatics training. COGS has earned a strong reputation among employers and geomatics professionals for the quality of the programs, hands-on training and practical learning provided to students.
  • You learn at a campus location that is dedicated to geomatics training and work alongside other students studying related disciplines.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction and support.
  • You use up-to-date equipment and software and get the hands-on training that makes our grads the preferred choice of employers.

Other info

  • Additional skills and abilities, including your math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades & Technology programs. Trades & Technology Preparation Checklist (23KB).
  • Safety Training – This program places a high importance on providing you with the skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • This program is located at NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS). COGS is the Lawrencetown site of Annapolis Valley Campus.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
COGS Lawrencetown Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that tuition values on these pages are for 2019/20 and are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • You graduate ready to start work as a Survey Assistant in a variety of organizations in industries such as cadastral land surveying, civil construction and engineering. Many companies are looking for Survey Assistants to help with their projects.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SUAS 1000 - Employability Skills for Survey Assistant
This occupational level course is designed to enhance the employability skills of survey assistants. This course will reinforce the essential and employability skills required to work effectively as a survey assistant. Topics include lifelong learning, interpersonal skills, communication skills, document preparation and basic math.

SUAS 1001 - Workplace Safety
This occupational level course is designed to support and document workplace safety for survey assistants. Topics include: workplace hazardous material information system (WHMIS), occupational health and safety, personal protection equipment, chainsaw safety, wildlife awareness, first-aid and the importance of developing safe work practices for a survey assistant.

SUAS 1002 - Surveying
This occupational level course is designed to enhance the survey skills of survey assistants. Topics include levelling, grading, total station, survey plans, survey law, and Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

SUAS 1003 - Fieldwork I
This occupational level course is designed to enhance the fieldwork skills of survey assistants. Topics include working in a team, measuring and recording angles, distance, height, and position using levels, total stations. Safe work practices are emphasized in this course.

SUAS 1004 - Fieldwork II
This occupational level course is designed to enhance the fieldwork skills of survey assistants. Topics include working in a team, measuring and recording angles, distance, height, and position using GNSS/GPS, drones and magnetic compass. Safe work practices are emphasized in this course.

SUAS 1800 - Work Experience
Through experiential learning, this course is designed to reinforce program outcomes and apply knowledge and highly relevant skills in an industry setting.

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