The field of surveying engineering is expanding rapidly and more programs are surfacing in the discipline regularly. Many postsecondary schools offer Associate's and Bachelor's degrees in surveying engineering. Students entering the field will use the concepts they learned in school to map the surface of the earth through various methods.
Students who are interested in topography and analyzing the land on which they live will find surveying engineering to be a very fulfilling field. Since the beginning of civilization, explorers and cartographers were heralded as respected individuals who opened new areas of the world to humanity. Working in surveying engineering allows students to follow in the footsteps of these individuals and make their mark on the world by cataloguing and analyzing its lands.
Surveying engineering is becoming more and more important in the United States as construction is increasing after the economic downturn. Some of the courses students can expect to take in the major include:
Surveying engineering, similar to other engineering programs, requires students to take a number of mathematics, physics, and chemistry courses prior to studying the main areas of the discipline. Surveying is a field that requires knowledge of many different type of technology, as surveyors use computers daily in their careers. Students should try to take some courses in information technology as electives to aid them in the future.
Surveying engineering is an increasingly popular area of study in higher education. There are currently 18 brick and mortar educational institutions that grant degrees in surveying engineering. There are also other majors that can be earned which focus on surveying. These include civil engineering and global information systems technology, both of which delve into the techniques and knowledge required to enter the exciting realm of surveying. Those wishing to pursue a degree past the Bachelor's degree level will need to enter a program in civil engineering with a focus in surveying, as colleges do not offer Master's degree programs in surveying yet.
To understand the benefits and rewards of surveying engineering, it is important to understand the work that a surveyor does. Surveyors measure and map the Earth's surface for various purposes, including construction, mapping borders, and research concerns. With the recovery of the economy and the increase in new home construction, surveyors should enjoy a higher demand for their services.
There is a wide variety of jobs available in the area of surveying engineering. Geodetic surveyors measure large areas of the Earth's surface while marine surveyors study rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. Cartographers work in larger areas than surveyors work, and prepare maps of swaths of land. Photogrammetrists use aerial photographs to prepare maps of the Earth's surface and spend much of their time at the office. The typical surveyor works a forty-hour workweek, and spends a lot of time outdoors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2008 surveyors had average yearly wages of $55,980, while cartographers and photogrammetrists made an average of $57,980 per year. The number of jobs in the field is expected to grow faster than the average for all professions through 2018.