A future that’s everywhere: Our infrastructure never stops growing. Neither does the demand for land surveyors. Tidewater Community College’s Career Studies Certificate in Land Surveying, which can be completed 100 percent online, also started a pilot apprenticeship program with VDOT that allows students to earn while being employed.

The details: VDOT’s Land Survey Technician Apprenticeship Program prepares individuals for entry-level surveying positions. Apprentices learn basic knowledge of land surveying principles and practices and learn to use equipment that includes GPS, levels and a robotic total station. They are employees of VDOT, which pays for all tuition, fees and necessary exams.

Apprentices work in either Culpeper or Hampton.

Meet a VDOT apprentice: Virginia Beach’s Reece Miller loves working outdoors and the benefits of working for VDOT.

“I think what drew my attention to becoming a surveyor is the amount of activeness that comes with it. What I mean by that is that it is not exactly a desk job. Being a surveyor lets me be outside for a good amount of the day or even week. I get to be enjoying the great outdoors while working at the same time, which is really good for a starting job straight out of college.

“VDOT provides me with so many benefits that my future is filled with endless opportunities.”

Another perk: VDOT apprentices complete a drone class with certification to legally operate a drone for non-hobby activities.

What else: Mentorship is an important component of TCC’s land surveying program. Apprentices working for VDOT are provided a mentor who is a licensed land surveyor. Students who plan to enroll at TCC to be surveyor who are not in the VDOT program can find a mentor with the help of the Virginia Association of Surveyors. The two-semester program is just 27 credits.

Interested? For apprenticeship opportunities in land surveying, contact Karen Miller (TCC Apprenticeship Institute) at kmiller@tcc.edu. For questions about the academic component of the program, email Chris Cartwright, program head for Civil Engineering Technology at TCC, at ccartwright@tcc.edu.