Planning and development surveyor

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Planning and development surveyors assess, design and manage development projects in towns, cities and rural areas.

Salary Range: £21,000 to £60,000

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How to become a planning and development 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. Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • business studies
  • economics
  • estate management
  • land and property development

If your degree is in a different subject, 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

More information

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Apprenticeship

You could do a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually 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 higher national diploma or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician, and take further training on the job to qualify as a surveyor.

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.

More information

Registration

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a planning and development surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • 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 may include:

  • researching market data, like land and property records
  • analysing figures using computer software
  • assessing whether plans are workable
  • presenting your recommendations to clients
  • overseeing planning applications
  • raising finances from funding bodies, investment companies and development agencies
  • negotiating contracts and tenders
  • advising clients about financial and legal matters, like compulsory purchases
  • working out the likely economic, social and environmental impact of a development

Working environment

You could work at a client’s business or in an office.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted to project or senior management roles, go into partnership in private practice, or become self-employed as a consultant. 

You could also move into other areas of surveying or town planning.