Engineering surveys are those that are associated with all aspects of engineering design, such as topographic, as-built and layout. Engineering surveys are usually much more advanced for civil engineers and serve additional purposes.

The main purpose of engineering surveys are to assess and determine the conditions of a building site either pre- or post-construction. They can also help assist builders, architects, and civil engineers in preparing base plans.

Engineering and building surveys are an essential part of all large building construction, including roads, railways, dams, bridges, and residential areas. Civil engineers in particular rely heavily on them.

Engineering surveys are a very broad category and include a range of different types to suit different purposes.

Typically they can be divided into three survey categories: planning, design, and construction.

Planning surveys are completed prior to construction work at a particular site. Investigation or as-built surveys can include such elements as: vertical control, gully, valley and channel cross-section surveys, and reservoir area surveys. In many cases all of these different types of engineering surveys will be required to get a full picture of the site situation.

Design surveys are a group of surveys that are done during the design phase of construction – after the planning has been completed.

Finally, construction surveys are a very important category of engineering surveys. These can be done both during and after construction has been completed. Their purpose is both to keep a check over the construction process as well as to maintain the buildings once they are complete.