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How to Get into the Surveying Industry: What to Study | Everglades University

Man using survey equipment on a construction site.

For a productive career in the surveying industry, you typically need a bachelor’s degree with special classes to teach the necessary skills. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, surveyors have a median pay of $63,420 per year and higher for people with work experience and graduate degrees.

The right degree program will prepare you for the day-to-day and managerial skills of the industry. Combining business knowledge with your surveying management degree is a perfect way for graduates to enter their new careers as supervisors and managers.

There are subspecialties within the survey industry, internships, and unique courses that may also help you stand out after you graduate. Many people enjoy this career because of working outside and the new and changing environments.

What is the Surveying Management Industry?

Surveying management is one of the most rewarding careers within the construction sector.

Survey managers are responsible for leading teams on survey plans associated with engineering or construction projects, and they also oversee construction sites. Typically, they will be in charge of researching the land history for survey records, legal records, and information about a property. 

While surveying managers’ responsibilities often overlap with surveyors, the two roles are not to be confused. Surveyors are mainly responsible for updating boundary lines and preparing sites for construction to prevent legal disputes. They do this by making precise measurements to determine property boundaries. On the other hand, surveying managers are mainly responsible for preparing contracts and reports, presenting right-of-way plans, and performing some fieldwork. 

Some of the core duties of a survey manager include:

  • Research land records, titles, legal records, and survey histories
  • Direct, control and supervise multiple survey crews and survey crews.
  • Manage and coordinate surveying procedures and processes.
  • Schedule crews in conjunction with survey needs for multiple construction projects.
  • Recommend software and equipment needs as necessary.
  • Conduct quantity takeoffs for construction estimation

The surveying management industry is a much-needed field. It is necessary for building roads, houses, and office buildings. Travel is an essential part of the job, and long commutes are typical. Some people enjoy traveling and working with companies that pay for their trips throughout the country.

What a Surveying Management Degree Can Do for You

Man with a hard hat and protective gear on a construction site within the Surveying Industry

There are many fields you can go into with a surveying management degree

With a surveying degree, there are a wide variety of employers who may need your specialty. Although some graduates will find work as independent contractors, most will choose to work for an employer.

The three largest employers of surveyors are:

  • Engineering, architectural companies
  • Government agencies
  • Construction companies

Fieldwork and office work is often involved in these jobs. The more education you have, the more likely you will be analyzing and preparing documents in an office or supervising other surveyors.

Different Fields within the Survey Industry

With a bachelor’s degree in surveying management, you can branch out into many different specialties. There are many advances in the technology that surveyors are using, but understanding the specifics of one type of surveying can make you stand out among other new graduates.

Some types of survey jobs specialties include:

  • Land surveyors that determine legal property boundaries for real estate projects.
  • Engineering surveyors show precise locations for buildings and roads.
  • Forensic surveyors are employed to record accidents.
  • Geodetic surveyors often use aerial equipment or satellites to measure large areas.
  • Marine surveyors work with bodies of water to determine topography.
  • Mine surveyors map tunnels and underground areas of mines.

As you can see, there are a wide array of opportunities available within the survey industry. Your education and experience will combine to help you find the industry that is just right for you.

What Do You Study When Working Towards a Surveying Management Degree?

Students after graduation throwing their graduation hats in the air.

It is important to work with an accredited program that understands the state requirements for working in surveying management

Most states require you to have a 4-year degree and experience on the job before becoming licensed. It’s essential to work with an accredited program that understands these requirements and will help prepare you through your coursework.

Some standard entry-level college courses for a surveying degree include:

  • Fundamentals of Surveying
  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Introduction to Construction Techniques
  • Construction Documents
  • Building Construction Drawing
  • Introduction to Surveying Legal Environment

To excel in the surveying industry, you’ll want to concentrate your college courses in upper-division classes. These courses are much more specialized and will offer you the best opportunity for experience and knowledge in your field.

Some typical upper-division courses include:

  • Codes and Standards
  • Construction Cost Estimating
  • Managing a Construction Project
  • Statics and Strengths of Materials
  • Construction Law
  • Instrumentation for Surveying
  • Geoinformatics: GPS, Remote Sensing, and GIS
  • Surveying Standards and Specifications
  • Surveying Management Capstone Course

If there is an area or specialties that you would like to concentrate on after you graduate, you can use your capstone course to gain knowledge. Your advisor will help you build a program of subjects to set you on the right path based on your goals.

How to Get Started

At Everglades University, you can choose to take your courses online or on campus. The Bachelor of Science Degree in Surveying Management curriculum will help students get ahead in their surveying careers.

Professors offer instruction in management skills, technology, and occupational subjects, so students graduate ready to start working right away. Construction and roadway surveyors are the primary jobs that graduates seek.

Everglades University was ranked #1 in fully online colleges by Stacker for 2021. Teachers and advisors are confident in their ability to meet with students online, and the quality of education is always excellent.

With anticipated growth in the construction industry, now is undoubtedly the best time to get started on your degree. Contact Everglades University, and we will help walk you through enrolling and registering for your surveying degree today!

Contact our admissions office today to get started!