Bachelor's in Land Surveying: Overview of 4-Year Degree Programs

Undergraduate programs in land surveying provide individuals with the education and training necessary to map out areas of land using geographic information systems. Students will learn to accurately map land formations using specialized tools.

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Essential Information

A bachelor's degree in land surveying includes coursework that will equip students with a broad overview of how environmental and physical land forms are spatially organized and connected. Land surveyors often use their skills to draw up areas of land for the construction of buildings, highways, parks and other structures.

While enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in land surveying, students might spend field time learning to use modern mapping tools, such as Global Positioning Systems, electronic distance meters and remote sensing. Individuals interested in advancing their careers might choose to continue their education on the master's degree level, where they can earn a degree in a subject like cartography or geographic information systems.

Bachelor's degree programs in land surveying most often are offered through 4-year colleges and universities that require incoming freshmen to hold a high school diploma or GED. Before declaring land surveying as a major, students often are required to complete general education courses in college-level mathematics, geography, communication and physical sciences.

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Bachelor's Degrees in Land Surveying

The courses in a land surveying degree program provide students with an educational background in geographical land formations as well as a technical understanding of how to map those formations. Core courses might include:

  • Surveying
  • Geographic information systems
  • Land or road development and design
  • Legal aspects of land surveying
  • Applied fluid mechanics
  • Photogrammetry

Popular Career Options

There are several career options for graduates of bachelor's degree programs in land surveying, most of which involve the study of mapping techniques in some way. A list of entry-level careers is below:

  • Land surveyor
  • Cartographer
  • Photogrammetrist
  • Mapping technician
  • Geodetic surveyor
  • Marine surveyor
  • Hydrographic surveyor
  • Surveying technician
  • Urban planner

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

From 2014-2024, surveyors were projected to see a 2% decline in employment opportunities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median pay for these workers was $58,020 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Options

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in land surveying might go on to earn a 2-year master's degree in a particular aspect of the field, such as cartography, geography, surveying, forestry, computer science, engineering or geographic information systems. This advanced education could help them to gain positions in leadership or research in the surveying industry.

All surveyors must gain licensure through a state licensing board. This process typically includes passing an examination given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in land surveying allows students to master the mapping tools used to plan infrastructure projects and other types of development. This degree is made even more useful by options at the graduate level, where students may train to become cartographers or engineers, to name a couple of options.

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