Oh Death

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DWoolley
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Oh Death

Postby DWoolley » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:05 pm

“Oh, Death
Won't you spare me over 'til another year?”
[Lyrics sung by Ralph Stanley. I highly recommend listening to the long version of the song].

I was browsing the Idaho licensure statistics over the weekend.

The following is the in-state licensee pass rates:

2010 to 2020 Idaho had 19 people take and pass the exam.
2010 to 2020 Nevada had 46 people take and pass the exam.

These two states had about 500 licenses through comity (179 Idaho) and non-resident (326 Nevada) during the same ten-year period. I suspect the majority of these folks are from California. I believe approximately 20 to 25% of the California PLS licensees are non-residents of California – leaving approximately 3,000 resident licensees.

In 2020, California passed 38 land surveyor licensees. Only one exam was given. In the same year, there were 83 folks that passed the national Fundamental Exams. If the most favorable statistics hold true, 33% of those 83 people will pass the California exam resulting in 27 new licensees in 2021.

I am curious if anyone will kindly offer some prognostications as to what this means over the next ten years for the profession of land surveying.

Is this simply the way of the world?

DWoolley

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David Kendall
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Re: Oh Death

Postby David Kendall » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:34 pm

Job security

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Lee Hixson
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Re: Oh Death

Postby Lee Hixson » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:28 am

Not a good sign. The only thing I can think of is to raise the pay rates of survey staff to encourage more people to consider surveying as a career, with healthy pay jumps for those that show promise. Money talks.

I currently have no idea what crew members are being paid these days. In the private sector, what is the average hourly rate for a field assistant, for an office worker?

Ric7308
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Re: Oh Death

Postby Ric7308 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:55 am

I also noticed the license numbers from ID that DW mentioned. I probably won't refer to 2020 statistics as a "normal" year when discussing licensing history...it likely will be considered an outlier year. We will see.

This being said, I've mentioned for quite a while that the number of applications being submitted to the Board has steadily decreased over the last 10 years immediately preceding 2020. And there's nothing in the foreseeable information to suggest that it will reverse course anytime soon. The fundamental numbers are one of the best resources to gauge the licensing numbers in the future, especially given that its likely that a higher percentage of unlicensed persons in the surveying industry (LSIT's) will eventually seek licensure compared to the ratio in the past. And from what I've heard, California is not the only state experiencing this trend.

Surveying industry is at a turning point in their history

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LS_8750
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Re: Oh Death

Postby LS_8750 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:22 am

"Things are gonna change I can feel it"....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgSPaXgAdzE

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m4man
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Re: Oh Death

Postby m4man » Tue Jun 08, 2021 9:59 am

I'll add my 2 cents here on this one. When I started my career in this profession that I still truly love and enjoy, four-man survey crews were very common. Now, today I see one-man survey crews being used more often than not. Additionally, with the use of computers/AutoCad, the need for office survey personnel has dwindled as well. Does anyone out there think technology has had something to do with the lack of new surveyors along with the economic situations we have been through in recent years? Just a thought.
Mike Foreman, PLS CA, NV, AZ

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Mike Mueller
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Re: Oh Death

Postby Mike Mueller » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:51 pm

I think Mr. Foreman brought up a key point. I expect that trend will continue. The same total number of jobs/surveys will keep being done by fewer folk. Along those lines, I think the same technologies will also lead to surveyors only doing boundary resolution work in 20-30 years.

The smart laser levels that allow anyone with the magic stick to get a "beep beep" when the new culvert/road etc is at the correct slope/elevation does a better faster job (most of the time) than having a bunch of wood stakes that need to be referred to.

A drone can fly a field and topo it more consistently and faster. Images can be used stereoscopically to measure buildings and features as well, entire 3d models off of a cheap flying camera and a good computer, a computer which will keep getting cheaper (yay for Moore).

The only reason we still have protectionist laws that give us a monopoly/cartel (I know its not really a monopoly but you know what I mean) to provide those other services is inertia and the general lag between culture/technology and laws/regulations. Taxi shields and Uber?

I often think professions are like property values. The costs go up with more laws, urban areas make more laws, the costs go up in a roughly target shaped map going out from the center (SF locally) with each ring moving out every 10-15 years. So the farther you are from a population center the longer you can earn a living on an outdated business model like a surveyor doing construction staking...or you find a way to stay competitive doing stuff different or faster/better.

Interesting tie in to the Site Map thread considering that most sitemaps are another law/cost required by denser populated areas, with the sitemap getting more rigorous the denser the population. I see the growth of the (currently) illegal $250 sitemap guys are the logical step in the cat and mouse relationship between regulation and development. Silly over regulated sitemaps that drive up cost provide a niche for a new service that capitalizes on new technology. Quick caveat, I am not opposed to all sitemaps (just most) and if they are to have any usefulness they should be done correctly.

All that said, if we are still here to lament the situation in 20-30 years I will be happy to have that as my biggest concern :)

Mikey Mueller, PLS
Sonoma County

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marchenko
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Re: Oh Death

Postby marchenko » Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:22 pm

Nice video, I am now a fan of Beck. (I always thought 'Beck' meant Jeff Beck) The guy on the roof reminds me of a good friend from decades ago.

Here are my thoughts:

An Analysis of the Movie Napoleon Dynamite

"In the end the protagonists defeat their loneliness: Uncle Rico gets a girlfriend and gets over the past, Napoleon's brother gets a girlfriend who is clearly in love with him, Pedro becomes president and Napoleon's dance makes him popular."

Always Land Sunnyside Up!

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LS_8750
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Re: Oh Death

Postby LS_8750 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:02 am

Bravo Mr. Marchenko!

Not to be too harsh, but the following reminds me of the older generation CLSA passing the torch to the new generation.......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcin4i_KsOA

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LS_8750
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Re: Oh Death

Postby LS_8750 » Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:19 pm

27 or so new licensees in California for 2021 projected per above.

How many existing licenses will be retired or non-renewed due to inactivity for 2021?
How many existing licenses will be revoked in 2021 due to poor practice?


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