Building surveyor

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Building surveyors advise clients about the design, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings.

Salary Range: £22,000 to £70,000

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How to become a building surveyor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme
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University

You’ll usually need a degree or professional qualification approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in a subject like:

  • surveying
  • construction
  • civil engineering
  • building engineering

If your degree is in a different subject like economics, law or maths, you could take an accredited postgraduate qualification in surveying.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

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Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you’ll need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

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Work

If you have a relevant foundation degree or higher national diploma and are working, for example as a surveying technician, you may be able to do further qualifications on the job.

Other routes

You could get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company, or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.

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Registration

Further information

You can find out more about careers in surveying through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and The Chartered Institute of Building.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of English language
  • analytical thinking skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • surveying properties, identifying structural faults and making recommendations for repairs
  • assessing damage for insurance purposes
  • establishing who’s responsible for building repair costs
  • advising clients on issues like property boundary disputes
  • acting as a client’s supporter or acting as an expert witness during legal proceedings
  • checking properties to make sure they meet building regulations, and fire safety and accessibility standards
  • dealing with planning applications and with improvement or conservation grants

Working environment

You could work on a construction site, at a client’s home or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height, outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into project or senior management.

You could go into partnership in private practice, or become self-employment as a consultant.

You could also move into a related field, like building control.