Shoalhaven News

Finlay finds success in surveying his career options


Vocational choices can be difficult when you are young, but after finding inspiration on the TAFE NSW website, Sanctuary Point's Finlay Hegarty is on the way to carving out a successful career in surveying.

Finlay said he was struggling to find a career path during his final year of high school, until he saw details about surveying and the idea of contributing to the design of the region appealed to him.

Mr Hegarty successfully applied for a surveying traineeship at Shoalhaven City Council through the HVTC Shoalhaven apprenticeship centre which organised his training with TAFE NSW, and it wasn’t long before he experienced the benefits of hands-on learning.

“I liked that my training was both practical and theoretical.," he said.

"We learned in an office setting as well as outside, so it was just like being on the job, this is something TAFE NSW does well.

“Another bonus was the experience of the teachers. I don’t think I had a teacher with less than 20 years’ experience in the industry.


"They had been through every situation and since there are plenty of things that don’t go to plan out in the field, they had lots of tips to share that you won’t find in textbooks. I don’t think I’d be where I am without the skills they taught me,” he said.

Mr Hegarty's passion for the job soon became evident, and even before completing his Certificate III in Surveying he enrolled in Certificate IV and after graduating went on to complete the TAFE NSW Diploma in Surveying.

TAFE NSW Surveying teacher Russell Douthat said surveying and mapping services offered a satisfying career in a growing and ever-changing industry.

He also said one of the aspects that attracted Mr Hegarty to the industry was true of many surveyors. 

“As older surveyors retire, we’re seeing increased demand for more people willing to learn these skills.


"The appeal of variety in the workplace does draw people into surveying. It offers a good mix of indoor and outdoor work, plus they get to see the countryside,” Mr Douthat said.

Like many industries, technology is reshaping parts of how surveyors go about their work and the tools they use.

“Our students work through a mix of theory and practical coursework with industry qualified teachers using industry-standard equipment and technology. This means a student with a TAFE NSW qualification can move easily into the workplace with practical abilities using the latest equipment and techniques,” Mr Douthat said.

For more information about TAFE NSW surveying courses, please visit or call 131 601.

The website now offers a Study Seeker tool designed to help people find a course that suits them.

Images: TAFE NSW

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