New A.A.S. Degree in Surveying
A new degree program in Surveying Engineering Technology is being offered at Middlesex County College. The program, which was originally an option in the civil engineering program, was expanded because of the demand for land surveyors and their importance to the construction industry.
"If you want to practice land surveying in New Jersey, you must have a Professional Land Surveyor's License (PLS)," said Thom Sabol, chairperson of the Department of Engineering Technologies. "In New Jersey, you will also need a bachelor's degree. Students graduating from our program with their associate's degree can transfer to schools such as NJIT to complete their education."
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says the demand for surveyors is expected to grow faster than the average of all occupations; surveyors with bachelor's degrees should have favorable job prospects. Median salaries for surveyors are in the mid-$50,000 range.
"You need strong technical skills and you need to enjoying working outdoors in all kinds of weather, but if you do, this is a great field," Professor Sabol said. Employment possibilities include working for a surveying company, owning your own business, or working for the government.
The program includes courses in mathematics, technical graphics, water resources technology, physics, business and boundary law, plus social science electives.
Gilberto Sousa is currently in the civil engineering program with the surveying option, but he is thinking about moving to the surveying program.
"I like being the first part of the construction process," he said. "I'm the first shovel in the ground." He plans to graduate and transfer to NJIT, Rutgers or Stevens.
The instructor, Belton Brevard, is a professional surveyor and owns Brevard Surveying & Mapping. He says that most of the graduates will go onto NJIT and earn their bachelor's degree and professional license.
"I'd highly recommend this program for those with technical skills who want to work in the surveying industry," he said. "It's a field that is professionally fulfilling and enjoyable."