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Department of Labor Opinions on Applicability of Public Work Prevailing Wages for Land Surveyors
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NYSAPLS frequently gets calls from our members looking for help to find information on prevailing wage law as it applies to our field crews. Our Executive Board has contacted the New York State Department of Labor Public Works Division to solicit their help in clarifying some common issues. 

We have been informed that there are no available "Commissioner's Regulations" or other authoritative sources to use as reference when questions come up. However, the department has forwarded us several legal opinion letters that they have written over the years. We have listed them below for your reference.


Public Works: Legal Opinions 

1990-03-13 Opinion Regarding Planning Surveying versus Public Work Surveying                                                                                                                                                                                                 This document attempts to clarify the decision making on when work is part of a study versus prevailing wage design phase work.
2007-04-27 Opinion 463 Regarding Utility Mapping Services This 2007 letter supersedes Department letters from about 6 years earlier. It essentially states that utility locating is covered under the prevailing wage laws.
2008-04-17 Opinion 487 Regarding IT Technicians and Indoor Work See paragraph item 1 for some info on working on-site versus off-site. We also have a verbal opinion from the Department that prevailing rates do not apply to field crews during the time that they are traveling to or from the job site.





  • Solar projects not erected on Public property are not subject to Prevailing wages.
  • Solar projects erected on Public property that will benefit the entire community are not subject to Prevailing wages.
  • Solar projects erected on Public property that benefit the municipality or municipalities facilities only are considered Public Work.


Please visit the Department of Labor website for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, as well as Opinion Letters, Adjudication Decisions, and Labor Laws.


If you have a specific question regarding prevailing wages please contact the Department of Labor Public Works Division for assistance at (518) 457-5589 or check the website for the number of an individual district office. The department is aware that it is often difficult to prepare estimates for clients, when the applicability of the laws are unclear and the deadline for a proposal submission is looming. The department will attempt to respond to your questions quickly.


146 Washington Avenue
Land Surveyors Building
Albany, NY 12210
518-432-4046 -- (f) 518-432-4055

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