Why study Surveying?
The Bachelor of Surveying (BSurv) is a four-year professional degree that allows both inside and outside work, has great employment prospects, and gives you an internationally recognised skill.
You'll become a specialist in precise measurement and an expert in land law and land ownership. You'll learn to subdivide land and assess its development potential, undertake city and environmental planning, design urban infrastructure, and prepare resource consents. It even gives you the skills to map the ocean floor.
To complement your lectures, you will gain hands-on experience in practical classes, computer labs and on field trips.
Over the last 15 years BSurv graduates have had as good a record of employment as surveyors and geospatial professionals. There is typically more demand than we can supply for our graduates.
This degree is internationally recognised for its quality and broad scope. It will really open up your world.
The BSurv degree is the only academic qualification offered in New Zealand that will lead to licensing by the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board – a licence to carry out land title surveys that is also recognised in all Australian states. It can also lead to full Professional membership of Surveying + Spatial NZ (formerly the NZ Institute of Surveyors).
Because Otago graduates have the skills to take on the full range of surveying activities immediately, you will have a wide variety of options, both in New Zealand and overseas. You might begin with a private sector company here in New Zealand involved in defining land boundaries, mapping and designing subdivisions (including roads, stormwater and sewerage systems), and preparing resource consents. Alternatively you might work for a government agency or a local authority, in their policy planning or GIS departments.
Some graduates do scientific research while others travel the world undertaking seismic surveys, mining, hydrographic surveying, or ensuring that the foundations for buildings and major engineering structures are correctly positioned. Others are involved in defining national and international boundaries for the United Nations. Many end up as consultants running their own businesses.
Most surveying jobs are roughly 50/50 inside/outside — at least in the early years. If you choose a planning option, it will be considerably less outside. If you choose project surveying it will be more.
What you can expect to earn depends upon your personal skills, where you are and how quickly you learn. Starting salaries for most New Zealand-based graduates are approximately $55,000. Those working offshore would start on about $80,000 or more.
The challenges are many and the work is exciting. It is this variety and diversity that makes surveying such an enjoyable profession.