If working in the great outdoors sounds like the perfect job, there’s a group of Kansas professionals looking for you. The Kansas Society of Land Surveyors is meeting in Pittsburg this week, with an eye on the future.
Jason Johnson admits that on one hand, his job might not seem that glamorous.
“There’s not a lot of excitement in, you know, telling someone I go out and measure something for a live, or I go out and drive steaks in the ground for the new road being built,” says Jason Johnson.
But it’s a job he loves, and one that’s been a part of his life for a long time.
“I’m actually a third generation surveyor in my family, and I did my first survey with my grandfather when I was nine,” says Johnson.
Now, he’s president of the Kansas Society of Land Surveyors. This week, Johnson and surveyors from across the Sunflower State are in Pittsburg, learning about the latest equipment, getting mandatory training, and taking a hard look at the future.
“It is a difficult situation for us. We’re having a shortage of surveyors,” says Sarah Boeh-Cerra, Secretary/Treasurer, Kansas Society of Land Surveyors.
Sarah Boeh-Cerra says that makes reaching out to the next generation and showing them what it means to be surveyor so important.
“The technology is the fun stuff. You get in, you get a robot going up, you get the drones flying up in the air, there’s so many different things that you can do,” says Boeh-Cerra.
She’s one of only five women surveyors in Kansas, and says showing kids, especially young ladies, what being a surveyor is all about is one of her passions.
“Right now what we’re doing is going all across the state, going to our high schools, going to our middle schools, the grade schools even, and actually the grade schoolers are a lot of fun, they show a lot of energy,” says Boeh-Cerra.
And Johnson says because they’ve grown up in a tech driven world, they’ve already got many of the tools needed for a field where they’d be in high demand.
“If you tell them, you know, we can do the measuring through aerial photography, or UAV and be able to run that off a computer, or an iPad, now you’re speaking their language, every kid’s language,” says Jason Johnson.
The Kansas Society of Land Surveyors does offer scholarships to kids going to school to become surveyors.