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Latest Legislative Updates:

May 12, 2021

S219 passed the senate on May 12, 2021. It was amended to previous experience requirements before 2013. As it reads now, there will be 7 years of experience required after high school and 4 years of experience required after an AAS degree. Fortunately, we were able to amend the bill having section k withdrawn which would have required no experience if someone could pass the exams.

NCSS does not support this significant reduction in experience although we were willing to negotiate the amount currently required. The proposed bill sits in the House and we are in communication with Representatives to discuss a more thoughtful approach to reducing experience without compromising the necessary qualifications to become a PLS in an ever-changing technological environment. 

March 11, 2021

Valued Members,

Senator Tom McInnis introduced Senate Bill 219 on March 9th, 2021. This bill addresses the experience requirements to become a licensed surveyor. Senator McInnis initiated this action because he feels very strongly that requiring 16 years of experience following high school and eight years following an Associate degree is unreasonable.

He reached out to the Society on January 13th to express his concerns. On January 20th, NCSS conducted a virtual meeting with him to discuss the issue. The attendees included Senator McInnis, President-elect, Jerry Nave, Christy Davis, Legislative Chair, Steve Yuhasz, Lobbyist, Kerri Burke, and a constituent of Senator McInnis, who is a PLS. We addressed several topics for him to consider before changing the experience requirements.  

  • Number of surveyors in North Carolina
  • The history of the current requirements 
  • Average time for surveying students and interns to pass the exams
  • Nationwide experience requirements
  • Pass rates for FS and PS exams
  • Use of advanced technology
  • Smaller field crews affecting mentoring
  • Four-year degree as the quickest route to licensure 

Senator McInnis adamantly believes that a reduction in experience would place more surveyors in the field. 

Initially, he proposed eight years of experience following high school and three years following an AAS degree. We counter-proposed ten years following high school and six years following an AAS degree. He drafted Senate Bill 219 with nine years and five years of experience for high school and AAS, respectively.  

There is a current movement in the General Assembly to require less education for licensure in multiple fields. Senator McInnis will have significant support on this issue. However, the process to become law is a long one and involves both the Senate and the House.

Although we did not seek this change, we have tentatively agreed to Senate Bill 219 because we feel as though the FS and PS exams will serve as the gatekeeper for those who want to become licensed. North Carolina needs licensed surveyors for the future, and 16 years out of high school is a daunting road in front of a young person. However, a surveyor’s primary responsibility is to protect the public while mapping the earth. Therefore, we stand by our position that the quickest most well-rounded way to become a licensed surveyor is through a four-year degree in Geomatics simply because there is a higher percentage pass rate on the exams. If Senate Bill 219 is ratified, it will make three paths available to those interested in the profession. Two of those paths will allow less experience than they require today.

This bill may appear confusing to those of you who voted in 2016 to pursue legislation limiting licensure applicants to four-year degree graduates only. The current political platform promoting two-year degree licensure programs and less restrictive licensing requirements is the primary reason we have been unable to successfully promote four-year degree legislation since 2016. This surprise initiative by Senator McInnis illustrates the difficulties we have had moving forward to implement the results of your vote. At this time we are unable to garner enough support to make your vote a reality.

Discussion and comments did not take place on the chapter level because of our defensive position and the speed at which Senator McInnis moved forward. NCSS will keep you informed through updates under the resources tab on the homepage.  

Click Here to Read Senate Bill 219

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