Topographical and Engineering Surveyor








What is an Topographical or Engineering Surveyor?

Surveyors can specialise into two main fields:

  • Topographical Surveyor

Is a professional who specialises in establishing the exact location of physical features (like rivers, rock formations, geysers, waterfalls etc) and the dimensions on the Earth.

They do this by:

  • triangulation (measuring of angles)
  • traversing
  • levelling (determining of heights)
  • aerial photographs
  • calculating positions and heights
  • establishing place names
  • annotating aerial photographs by indicating the topographical features

Back in office, the surveyor applies this information to the task of preparing a detailed land map. They will use a photogrammetric machine to assist them in the process.

  • Engineering Surveyor

Collects all the relevant information on site of a proposed construction project and then maps out the area. Once the design of the project is complete, the surveyor pegs it out on the actual site and also monitors construction in progress to ensure that it does not exceed the specifications. The work is satisfying and offers a good balance of field and office work.

What does a Topographical or Engineering Surveyor do?

  • meets with project consultants and other organisations to discuss requirements
  • travels to sites
  • sets up equipment and takes measurements and readings to assist their calculations and mapping
  • draws up detailed maps showing exact positioning of points of interest that client’s require
  • advises the team on what would be the best, most effective approach to project
  • works outside and indoors

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in working outdoors most of the time?
  • physically fit?
  • mathematically astute?
  • observant?
  • interested in drawing maps?
  • able to work on a team?
  • extremely accurate?
  • responsible?

How do I become an Topographical or Engineering Surveyor? 

Surveyors can study a degree at Universities and Surveyor Technicians can study at Universities of Technologies.

Compulsory school subjects (topographical surveyors): Mathematics

Compulsory school subjects (engineering surveyors): Mathematics, Physical Science, English

Recommended school subject: Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry, Geography or Mechanics


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 




OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Land Surveyor or Geotechnician

Is becoming a Topographical or Engineering Surveyor the right career choice for me?