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Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Geomatic Engineer.

Surveyors measure, analyse and report land-related information for the planning and regulation of land, sea and the environment.

Surveyors may work in related fields such as photogrammetry, geographic information systems (GIS) or remote sensing, and as project managers.

After spending some years in the field, they often progress to management roles.

Surveyors can spend a lot of time working outdoors.

They also work in offices, analysing data and preparing plans and reports.


    Surveyors may perform the following tasks:

  • measure the size and shape of an area of land using specialised tools and technology
  • determine the position of boundaries of public or private land
  • create property titles through plans for subdivision
  • compile and evaluate data gathered from field studies
  • interpret codes and laws to provide professional advice about legal matters relating to boundaries and titles
  • study the natural and social environment, measure land and marine resources, and use the data in planning development of property, land and buildings in urban, rural and regional areas
  • work with architects, engineers and developers to plan and monitor construction projects
  • produce plans, maps, files, charts and reports


  • good at mathematics
  • interested in technology
  • good organisational skills and attention to detail
  • able to work neatly and accurately
  • good health and normal colour vision
  • able to work independently or as part of a team

Interest Area

Outdoor Scientific Technical/Engineering Figures/Computational


Cadastral/Land Surveyor - marks property boundaries, records the information on plans and maps, and creates property titles. They must be licensed to do this work, as the plans they make provide the basis for legal transactions of land.

Engineering Surveyor - surveys routes for railways, roads, pipelines, canals, sewers and tunnels, and undertakes detailed surveys of construction sites, dam sites, multistorey buildings and other engineering projects.

Geodetic Surveyor - uses signals from satellites such as the global positioning system (GPS), star observations, precise levelling and electronic distance measurements to locate positions accurately on the Earth's surface for global mapping, and to monitor movements of the Earth's crust.

Mine Surveyor - measures underground and open-cut mines in detail. Their surveys help mining organisations locate new mines safely, avoid older mines, and allow connections to be made between different underground passages. Mine surveyors also establish the boundaries of mining claims in some states and territories.

Hydrographic Surveyor - maps the physical features of oceans, seas, rivers and lakes and the adjacent land.

Remote Sensing Surveyor - uses digital data from high-resolution satellites and airborne imagery systems to monitor changes in the surface features of the Earth.

Topographic Surveyor - provides information for the compilation of maps of physical features of the Earth's surface (such as hills, valleys, rivers and lakes) by making field measurements and taking aerial photographs. They work on, above or below the surface of the land or sea, and often work with other professionals.


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a surveyor you usually have to complete a degree in surveying, spatial science, geospatial science or geographical information systems at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and physics are normally required.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Additional Information

    Graduates can be registered as a land surveyor or a mine surveyor by the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of NSW, which also covers the ACT. Candidate surveyors are required to complete at least

    24 months of supervised experience in surveying, as well as an exam set by the board. Once registered, surveyors need to meet continuing requirements for professional development. See www.bossi.nsw.gov.au for more information.

    All states and territories of Australia and New Zealand have mutual recognition arrangements, whereby registration as a surveyor in any one area allows for registration anywhere else in these zones through a process of application, involving payment of the appropriate fees and requiring that minimum statutory requirements are met.


Surveyors are employed in engineering firms, mining and construction companies, government departments and private practices. employment opportunities are dependent upon activity in different sectors. Cadastral (land) surveyors generally have greater opportunities for employment.

Registered surveyors may work for larger survey firms or may practise as partners in small firms. Large firms have greater scope for specialisation.

Nearly all mine surveyors are employed in the mining industry, with most being based in regional centres. With further study, it is possible to move into administrative or engineering positions, which may be based in capital cities.

The introduction of new technology has reduced the time required for surveying fieldwork, including satellite-positioning systems, electronic-distance and angle-measuring equipment, land and geographic information systems, remote-sensing equipment and the use of computers and computer graphics.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Surveyor Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute What is Surveying? Association of Consulting Surveyors NSW Inc.

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