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Design & planning

Building surveyor

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

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £70,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm; away from home

Future employment

There will be 3.5% more Building surveyor jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • survey properties, identify structural faults and recommend repairs
  • assess damage for insurance purposes
  • establish who's responsible for building repair costs
  • advise clients on issues like property boundary disputes
  • act as an expert witness during legal proceedings
  • make sure properties meet building regulations, fire safety and accessibility standards
  • deal with planning applications and improvement or conservation grants

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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 can get into this job through:

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

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 you graduated in any other subject, you could do a surveying postgraduate conversion course. These usually lead to a master's degree or postgraduate diploma.

Entry requirements vary, so check with individual universities which degrees might be preferred.

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
For more information

You could do a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship.

It may be possible to work towards this role by doing a surveying technician apprenticeship. This will teach you some of the skills and knowledge required. You would then need to take further qualifications to gain chartered surveyor status.

RICS has more information on surveying apprenticeships.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

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 get more qualifications on the job.

Other routes

You could do a postgraduate surveying qualification through:

More information

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

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

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • analytical thinking skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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