Simply put, surveying involves the data, and civil engineering involves the design.
Building our world up
Surveying is at the heart of the world’s infrastructure and built environments. It is no surprise then to learn that it is also a building block that many other disciplines rely on.
Civil engineering is one such discipline. Without the work completed by surveyors, civil engineers wouldn’t have the accurate measurements and data they need to complete their own job to a high standard. Many surveyors in Australia also take on the role of civil engineer themselves.
But what exactly is civil engineering?
Surveyors and civil engineers have complementary skills. Civil engineers are similarly involved in a project from the beginning stages, working from a conceptual, design-based perspective.
Civil engineering is the process of envisaging, designing, supervising and maintaining infrastructure projects of all shapes and sizes. With a focus on urban development, the work can involve everything from bridges to buildings, towers to tunnels, and dams to domestic airports. Civil engineering jobs require strong problem-solving skills as well as good computing and design abilities, which explains why many surveyors complete civil engineering work – the skills crossover between the two roles is significant.
Defining the roles
Surveyors conduct a survey of the plot of land before planning or construction begins. During that process, the surveyor will establish the measurements, lines and points that the project will refer back to from the beginning of the project through to its completion.
Throughout the civil engineering component of any project, the team will rely on this data – including any peculiarities, slopes or uneven terrain – when researching and designing an engineering solution that fits the brief issued by the client.
There are so many specialty areas and outside fields related to surveying. You can read up on some of them on our specialisations page here.