Kendall Reid: Woods’ Graduate Surveyor Licensing Programme is one of the best in New Zealand

For many graduates of The University of Otago’s Bachelor of Surveying degree, the next step is to become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor (LCS). At Woods, we are proud to run one of the most successful graduate surveyor licensing programmes in New Zealand.

Overview of the Woods’ Graduate Surveyor Programme

Woods typically recruits 2-4 new graduate surveyors into the programme each year depending on our workloads.

All graduate surveyors are placed on a rotation of cadastral, geodetic, and topographical surveying along with experience in resource management planning and land development engineering. This allows our graduates to accumulate the project hours needed as part of the Cadastral Surveyors Licencing Board requirements.

On average, becoming a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor takes 3-5 years depending on whether a particular aspect of the rotation has piqued a graduate’s interest and what area of surveying a graduate wants to focus on.

At Woods, we know exactly what graduates need to fulfill the licensing requirements, and we provide tailored mentoring and support to achieve this so that they can achieve licensing at their pace.

The benefits of the Woods’ Graduate Surveyor Programme

Gain a well-rounded, broad base of experience

Many graduate surveyors enter the programme without a clear understanding of what they want to do beyond licensing. Our graduate programme enables surveyors to gain exposure to an array of projects and disciplines.

After becoming a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor, graduates can then make an informed career decision and are encouraged to pursue an avenue or specialty of their choice.

An inclusive, social workplace culture

At Woods, our staff work in close knit project teams. We have technical workshops called ‘Spatial Spiels’ which provides an opportunity to discuss work-related topics which affect them every day. At Woods we understand that for many Survey Graduates Auckland and Christchurch may not be their home towns. By coming in together with 2 or 3 other classmates, new graduates know they're surrounded with the familiar faces of their graduating class, and the classes above them. Outside of work there are numerous social activities which allows graduates to connect and continue to develop the personal and professional relationships that they began to build during their time at university.

The bigger picture

Woods’ multi-disciplinary approach allows our graduates to see a project from the beginning right through to the end. We also offer graduates opportunities to be involved in projects outside of their main work or team. Woods has a unique range of projects, and our suite of in-house disciplines (including engineering, planning and architecture/urban design) enables graduates to see the bigger picture of land development and infrastructure.

Exposure to the latest technology

Woods has one of the most modern and expansive survey equipment inventories in New Zealand including terrestrial and mobile laser scanning technologies. This makes it a great place to work and get exposed to leading edge tech.

What do our current Graduate Surveyors think?

I recently sat down with three of our surveyors to get their insights on the Woods’ programme:

Nick started at Woods as a graduate surveyor in 2017:

"It’s quite nice to have fellow people going through the licensing process at the same time to work on projects and study with. Also, I know at some companies, graduates must do a secondment out to specialised engineering companies to get the experience and project hours they need to become licensed. At Woods, you don’t have to leave the company to work on projects in every area"

Jess started at Woods as a graduate surveyor in 2019:

"The variety of projects at Woods allows you to work on projects big or small, at any stage of the project, and across different specialisations. I love the ongoing problem-solving. No job is the same, it makes things interesting because every day is different. You wouldn’t get the same diverse range of projects anywhere else with the same technical level or scale."

"Woods also has a very supportive network of staff. Everyone is very open to helping no matter where you are in the company"

Nikau began at Woods as a graduate surveyor at the beginning of 2021:

"Woods has quite a young team of surveyors who are already working through the licensing program, so you can ask about their projects and experience. There is also a huge variety of projects outside of your department that you can help out on."

Where being a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor can take you:

The Cadastral License opens doors for surveyors not just here in New Zealand but globally – it’s an internationally recognised certification.

If your goal is to become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor, or if you’d like to know more about working at Woods, visit the careers section of our website.

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