Apprentice StepsAdvancement RequirementsWages
First StepStarting level—No experience requiredSuccessfully advance through selection procedures $30.61
Second Step1,000 total work hoursValid CPR/first aid card (offered through the program)$38.27
Third Step 2,000 total work hoursDemonstration of excellence in class attendance and participation$43.37
Fourth Step3,000 total work hoursTimely on-track progression through curriculum$45.92
Fifth Step4,000 total work hoursMeet GPA minimum requirements$51.02
Sixth Step5,000 total work hours$51.02
Seventh Step6,000 total work hours$51.02
Eighth Step7,000 total work hours$51.02
Party Chief Graduate8,000 total work hours$58.49
Certified Party Chief4,500 Party Chief field hours$58.94+

Career Opportunity

  • Four years of training for the cost of your books.
  • Paid employment while you attend school.
  • Rigorous and relevant curriculum.
  • Outstanding faculty providing personal attention to students.
  • Student counseling and apprenticeship staff to help you plan and succeed.
  • Excellent pension & health care benefits—paid holidays—first rate working conditions.
  • Develop life-long professional ties with your sponsoring employers and industry professionals.

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Proof of high school completion: diploma, GED equivalency or transcript.
  • Valid California Driver License.
  • Resident of OE3’s Northern California forty-six county jurisdiction.
  • Physically able to perform all phases of work.
  • Pass entrance exam math test with a minimum of 80%.
  • Successfully complete an orientation and a one to two week boot camp.
  • Pass panel interview.

Is This Career Path For You?

Take an interactive quiz and find out if this is your future job.

Mechanical & Arithmetic Skills Required

The Surveyor Apprenticeship trains individuals in the skills required to lead a survey crew. The data that surveyors collect is critical to fields such as construction, engineering, science, history and law. Strong mechanical and arithmetic skills are essential traits if you are considering this career path. The Surveyor Apprentice Program is academically challenging and applicants must be willing to work and study diligently to progress through this program, which will take approximately four years.

Earn While You Learn

Apprentices are employed in a paid surveying job while attending training classes.  These specialized training courses will allow you to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build a career in surveying, perform job-related duties under the direct supervision of a Party Chief and most importantly, help you gain the confidence needed to lead a survey crew as a Party Chief.


“Working as a surveyor has allowed me to translate textbook knowledge from my degree in civil engineering into practical real word applications. The apprenticeship program furthered my understanding of land surveying by exposing me to new construction and boundary topics and teaching me more accurate and precise hands-on techniques, thus making me a more successful surveyor on the field.”

“After a career in the Marines, I left my job at the hardware store to become a surveyor apprentice.  As a graduate, I’ve worked on many exciting projects throughout Northern California, had the opportunity to teach and assist in apprenticeship events, and now, I’m a Senior Business Rep and Organizer for my labor union and a trustee for the apprenticeship.  There’s more to this than a job!”

“I got the opportunity to become an apprentice and have never looked back. I meet a lot of talented people and work on projects all over California from Camarillo up to the Oregon border.”

“I highly encourage you to join an apprentice program. I have a rewarding profession with great pay!”