Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Academic Advisor


Donna Pergrem
Academic Advisor
(405) 945-3215


STEM Scholarship Application



Ryan K. Hightower, PLS
Department Head, Surveying Technologies
(405) 945-8615


Construction Surveyor

Think about what we build: bridges, houses, skyscrapers, underground tunnels, pipelines, utility networks, refineries, shopping centers, and offshore oil rigs. The list is endless. Construction surveyors make measurements and recommendations to engineers, architects, other professionals, and contractors at all stages of construction projects.


Construction surveyors get involved at many stages of a project. They are the first on the job. They verify construction as structures are being built or modified. When the job is done, they make sure that construction is in line with original plans.


Construction projects—especially for major structures—require a great deal of precision. In building a bridge, for example, construction surveyors make sure that, as the bridge is being built across a river, it is properly placed on each side. Small measurement errors across the span of a bridge can mean significant deviations once the builders reach the other side of the river. The same precision applies to underground construction for train tunnels, underground pipelines, and in mining. Surveyors who specialize in underground construction have to make sure that tunnels begin and end at the correct locations.


Another type of construction surveying that also requires extreme precision is at a factory or refinery. A refinery’s maze of pipelines is on a fixed piece of property, often with little room for movement. If a new pipeline has to be added, surveyors are the first on the job to make measurements and recommendations about where the new pipeline can be placed without damaging nearby structures.


Other construction surveyors work on large housing developments, business office parks, and shopping centers because they find great pride in taking a piece of untouched land and seeing it through to completion of something new.



Still other construction surveyors work on projects like trying to piece back together a site after a natural disaster such as the San Francisco earthquake a few years ago.