I’m Laetitia and I work as a Cadastral Surveying Inspector in Toulon (south of France).
I did not jump into cadastral surveying straight out of high school unfortunately. This field was not well promoted and I had other plans in mind at the time. I graduated from the Institute of Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence (“Science-Po Aix”) with a MA in Political Studies and Public Administration, and I completed my education with a MA in International Relations from Durham University (UK). This naturally led me to take examinations to work for government.
And surprisingly enough, that is where my surveying adventure started!
Since the early 19th century, the French land taxation system is largely based on cadastral surveying, more precisely the cadastral survey map, whose primary role is to identify the properties subjected to land tax.
Therefore, cadastral surveyors are trained by the State-run National Cadastral Surveying Training School in Toulouse, to carry out many tasks, the major one being making and updating the French cadastral survey map, to help establish a land tax based on parcel and building surface measurements.
I was successful at the examination to work for the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Budget and, based on my good scientific background (Scientific Baccalaureat, the equivalent of A-levels in Sciences), I was offered to train at the Cadastral Surveying Training School.
I was curious about surveying and I don’t regret accepting this offer! If you are into sciences (especially maths), geography, data analysis, field work, measurement and computer-aided design, public/property/notarial law, and some research in ancient maps, cadastral and land surveying can absolutely be for you! It encompasses so many areas that each day opens new possibilities for learning and improving your skills.
On completion of my cadastral surveying training in 2010, I took a position as Cadastral Surveying Inspector in Beauvais (north of Paris) for 4 years before coming back to my home region, in Toulon, to take up the same role. Field work days when you live and work in one of the sunniest regions of France are always pleasant!
Today, I have a 10-year experience in cadastral surveying, managing a team of cadastral surveyors, going on the field with them, verifying the cadastral works (land division documents, boundary-defining maps…) of licensed surveyors and keeping the cadastral survey map up-to-date for a great range of users : GIS departments, licensed surveyors, local authorities, private companies, notarial clerks, lawyers, courts when necessary, and the general public. The cadastral survey map is available online on www.cadastre.gouv.fr.
I enjoy cadastral surveying for the opportunities it offers, not only in terms of variety of missions, but also in terms of career change, still in surveying. This is the reason why I chose to study a MSc in Quantity Surveying with the University College of Estate Management (UCEM, UK) as a distant learner, with the objective of becoming a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) in the near future, and to continue my journey on the surveying path, most likely abroad.
I would like to thank Sara Cameron and all the other women in surveying who work to bring the Surveying Sisterhood blog to life and promote exciting and diverse surveying careers in their own country and around the world. Hopefully such wonderful initiatives are going to bring newcomers, including more women to the built environment, which provides a variety of jobs and missions, great employment prospects and endless networking opportunities!