Griffin is a surveyor with Parametrix’s Puget Sound Survey team based in Seattle, WA. He has been with Parametrix for 5 years and has a total of 11 years of industry experience. He recently earned his Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) license.
Tell us about your career path.
Like most people in land surveying, I actually stumbled across it after going to college for a different career path. I graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Environmental Science with a specialization in remote sensing and GIS. From there I worked for a company providing airborne LiDAR acquisition for a few years and really enjoyed that work but it was a lot of travel (over half the year I’d be out of town). When I looked around to see what I might want to do next, land surveying seemed like a good fit.
What inspired you to pursue a career in surveying?
It has a perfect combination of attributes that I find exciting and engaging. It involves working outside in a multitude of environments, making maps, solving puzzles, scavenger hunts, playing with exciting new technologies, and a day-to-day workload that has a huge range of responsibilities to keep me on my toes! Also, it’s extra special to work at a company where the majority of projects I work on are public improvements so I can feel like I’m making a difference.
What career goals do you have in the next 5 years?
I would like to continue expanding our capabilities with emerging survey technologies like drones, LiDAR, and 3D scanning to provide more efficient and innovative deliverables to our clients both internally and externally, especially through collaboration with other disciplines here at Parametrix! I’d also be open to being the first surveyor on Mars if Elon Musk wants to hit me up about it.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on?
My favorite project was definitely the Redmond Link Light Rail extension. It had everything – scanning, topographic mapping, right of way boundary resolution, and writing new legal descriptions. It was a very diverse and fun project to work on. I got to be deeply involved in that project from start to finish and it provided me with a lot of opportunity to learn and grow in my professional career.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a PLS license?
Make yourself a promise of reward just for getting the test scheduled and taking it. Even if you don’t pass on your first try it’s really helpful to have something to look forward to at the end of the study-tunnel and just taking those tests is a huge accomplishment that deserves celebration!
Anything else you would like to add?
If it looks to anyone like surveyors are having all the fun, it’s because we are! The land surveying profession is awesome and it doesn’t get nearly the exposure it deserves. It’s currently shrinking at a record pace and we are in very high demand as the majority of licensed professionals are at or nearing retirement age. If you know anyone that is graduating high school or college and enjoys the outdoors and is looking for what they want to do, suggest surveying!