How do you become a Building Surveyor?

ON December 12, 2017

Building surveyors provide advice on property and construction. They compose detailed reports and building surveys for clients or higher officials. Their main duty is to identify defects and problems with a building, and then to advise on repair and maintenance options.

As well as advising on the restoration and maintenance of existing buildings, they conjointly work on the planning and development of buildings. The nature of the work can vary from city structures to buildings of historical importance.

Building surveyors also work on preventative measures to keep buildings in good condition and sustainable. With the experience and knowledge they have with building structures, they can sometimes be called upon to give evidence in court as an expert witness in cases where building regulations have been breached, speaking about the defects and dilapidations.

What qualification do you need?

In the UK, it is required to have a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited qualification to become a building surveyor. This could be a course in surveying, construction, civil engineering, or building engineering, followed by professional development training. Normally it takes about 2 years to gain a qualification, in conjunction with relevant academic study

Furthermore, if you do go down the route of not studying a RICS accredited degree at university, you’ll need to take a different education route. This could be doing a company’s apprenticeship training scheme or studying at a RICS approved college.

What is The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is a global government approved organisation that promotes and enforces high standards in the valuation, management and development of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure sector.

Skills you will need 

To become a building surveyor many employers look for certain skills. Most of these skills are developed with work experience and some come naturally when you are trained as a building surveyor.

Skills you will need:

  • Technical knowledge and competence
  • Practical-minded
  • Good oral and written communication 
  • The ability to build lasting relationships with clients and colleagues
  • Negotiation, presentation and report writing skills
  • The ability to solve problems
  • Commercial awareness and the ability to ensure that you are adding maximum value to clients’ businesses
  • Enthusiastic and motivated to take on high levels of work
  • Good IT skills, including computer-aided design (CAD)
  • A driving license 

Career Opportunities 

Working within the public sector allows you to freely move from different local authorities, universities and hospital trusts in order to gain broader experience. Also with this option, you can achieve a more senior role.

Larger organisations and companies have formal ways of people progressing into senior surveyor positions taking on larger managerial responsibility.

With years of experience, building surveyors can progress to managing full projects. Taking responsibility for the planning, control, and coordination of projects from inception to completion. 

You may want to specialise in a specific area and become an expert in a specific field. The sectors you could work in is residential or retail. When you are fully qualified you could set up your own private company or be self-employed.

Benefits of being a Building Surveyor 

If you are questioning whether to go down the route of becoming a Building Surveyor, here are some reasons why its a good career prospect:

  • Travel. Every country recognizes the RIC qualification. With your qualification, it gives you a good opportunity to travel to different locations to do your work. 
  • Security. Any job role in property and land is always important because someone always needs to manage it.
  • Variety. This job is never the same every day. There is also the option to specialise in different areas, depending on skills and interest.


The starting salary for this building surveyor job role is between £22,000 to £25,000, with salary progression to £28,000 to £40,000.

Consequently, Becoming a building surveyor can give you many opportunities. Like travelling the world, working on many projects and earning a great salary. If you do decide to take this career path then there are many ways you can become qualified. If you are already qualified, have a look on JobsTrackR today at Building Surveyor jobs.

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