There are several applications known for wireless sensor networks (WSN), and such variety demands improvement of the currently available protocols and the specific parameters. Some notable parameters are lifetime of network and energy consumption for routing which play key role in every application. Genetic algorithm is one of the nonlinear optimization methods and relatively better option thanks to its efficiency for large scale applications and that the final formula can be modified by operators. The present survey tries to exert a comprehensive improvement in all operational stages of a WSN including node placement, network coverage, clustering, and data aggregation and achieve an ideal set of parameters of routing and application based WSN. Using genetic algorithm and based on the results of simulations in NS, a specific fitness function was achieved, optimized, and customized for all the operational stages of WSNs.