Land Surveying Masters Degree Program Overviews
Land surveyors measure, map and chart land. Degree programs in land surveying usually incorporate the study of geomatics, as well as physics, mathematics and engineering.
Master's Degree in Land Surveying and Geomatics
The most common educational path to a career as a land surveyor is a bachelor's degree in the field; however master's degrees are available and usually paired with geomatics. Geomatics is the gathering, processing and storing geographic information, while land surveying is the process of gathering spatial points on a 3-dimensional terrestrial plane and determining the distances between them.
Students in these programs learn to use specialized equipment to measure land and physical features on the earth. Programs teach students to perform professional tasks, including boundary retracement, verifying the location of surface features and engineering-related surveying for map preparation. Students learn to do these things using current industry technology, such as global positioning satellites and electromechanical instruments. Students also learn to interpret and present this information to clients.
In order to be considered for admission to master's degree programs in land surveying and geomatics, applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree. Applicants should also be prepared to submit standardized test scores, college transcripts, letters of recommendation and, in some cases, a resume.
Students can expect to spend a lot of time in the field performing actual measurements with industry-standard equipment. Classroom study is an essential part of the curriculum as well and mostly includes mathematics and engineering. Here are some courses that might appear in the curriculum:
- Legal aspects of surveying
- Surveying instruments
- Applied physics
- Angle measurement
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) expects the employment rate for surveyors to rise 19% between 2008 and 2018, significantly faster than average. This growth is due to an increasing need for accurate, complete geographic information for development. The BLS also states that surveyors earned a median annual salary of $52,980, as of May, 2008.
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