Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Kieran Magee from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Kieran Magee

Farm Manager - Dry Stock


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  Kieran Magee
Someone who wants to be where I am today shall need bucket loads of ambition and not be afraid of hard work.  They will need to not be afraid of starting at the very bottom of that big high ladder but at the same time have the eagerness and determination to get to the top of that ladder because the opportunities are there.

Education is very important.  It may only seem like a silly piece of paper but it's that Cert, Diploma or Degree that gets you that job and not the man/woman beside you.

The one thing that is vital in not alone this job, but any job, and alot of people don't seem to have it, is common sense. It's something so simple but really important. if you have no cop-on then nobody wants to know you.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Hydrographic Surveyor

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€30k >  
Hydrographic Surveyor
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€30 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

A Hydrographic Surveyor is a person who surveys oceans.

The Work header image

Hydrographic surveyors carry out surveys of oceans, ports, harbours and inland waterways and rivers. They find out water depths and measure tides and currents. They also locate, identify and measure physical features such as rocks, sandbanks and sunken wrecks. They use a range of instruments such as GPS, echo sounders and Total Stations. When they've collected the information, they analyse it using computers.  
Hydrographic surveyors make offshore surveys to find out where ships and boats can travel, to find suitable locations for oil or gas rigs, to develop sea mining projects or to aid the recovery of a sunken wreck. They make inshore surveys on rivers and canals to predict the environmental effects of building marinas or flood defences, assess the progress of dredging and maintain river channels for boats to use. Hydrographic cartographers use the survey data to produce and improve marine charts, navigation aids and oceanographic publications.  
Hydrographic surveyors often have to work outdoors in cold, wet conditions. Many safety regulations apply to working in or near the marine environment. Hydrographic surveyors need to wear a hard hat on construction sites.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Verify the accuracy of survey data including measurements and calculations conducted at survey sites.


Search legal records, survey records, and land titles to obtain information about property boundaries in areas to be surveyed.


Calculate heights, depths, relative positions, property lines, and other characteristics of terrain.


Prepare and maintain sketches, maps, reports, and legal descriptions of surveys to describe, certify, and assume liability for work performed.


Direct or conduct surveys to establish legal boundaries for properties, based on legal deeds and titles.


Prepare or supervise preparation of all data, charts, plots, maps, records, and documents related to surveys.


Write descriptions of property boundary surveys for use in deeds, leases, or other legal documents.


Compute geodetic measurements and interpret survey data to determine positions, shapes, and elevations of geomorphic and topographic features.


Determine longitudes and latitudes of important features and boundaries in survey areas using theodolites, transits, levels, and satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).


Record the results of surveys including the shape, contour, location, elevation, and dimensions of land or land features.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others:  Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Law and Government:  Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Geography:  Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.


Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Management of Personnel Resources:   Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.


Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a hydrographic surveyor you will need a good understanding of science, maths, technology and computers. Knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) is essential. You should be analytical, accurate and able to pay attention to detail.  
You will need a wide knowledge of marine construction and law and should enjoy working in or near a marine environment. Navigation skills and experience of handling small marine craft are also useful.  
In dealing with planning matters with local and national authorities you will need to have good communication skills, both written and oral communication skills are very important. You need good teamwork skills to support and work alongside colleagues, for example, geologists or other engineers.

Entry Routesheader image

The most direct route is to complete a relevant degree. These include geomatics, environmental science, geography or marine science.

DIT offer a degree programme in Geomatics (Surveying and Mapping) DT 112.

There are postgraduate courses in hydrographic surveying available in the UK.
Most entrants will have an honours degree. In order to qualify as a chartered surveyor you must either pass or obtain an exemption from the examinations of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). You must also undertake a minimum period of training and work experience. 
Throughout your career you will be expected to keep up to date by undertaking continual professional development (CPD), usually by attending short courses. It is also possible to qualify as a land surveyor and then learn the necessary skills for hydrographic work.

Last Updated: May, 2015

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Society of Chartered Surveyors
  Address: 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 5500
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: International Federation of Hydrographic Societies
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture
Earth Science & Environment

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