Employment of surveyors is expected to grow 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will result from increased construction related to improving infrastructure.
The demand for traditional surveying services is closely tied to construction activity and opportunities will vary by year and geographic region, depending on local economic conditions. When real estate sales and construction slow down, surveyors may face greater competition for jobs. However, because surveyors can work on many different types of projects, they may have steadier work than others when construction slows.
An increasing number of firms are interested in geographic information and its applications. For example, a Geographic Information System (GIS) can be used to create maps and information for emergency planning, security, marketing, urban planning, natural resource exploration, construction, and other applications. Surveyors will still be needed for legal reasons to verify the accuracy of the data and information gathered for input into a GIS.
Although surveyors have traditionally relied on construction projects for many of their opportunities, increased demand for geographic data should mean better opportunities for professionals who are involved in developing and using GIS technology and digital mapmaking. Other opportunities should result from the many surveyors who are expected to retire or permanently leave the occupation for other reasons.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition