Building Surveyor

The term ‘Building Surveyor’ covers many job types but generally, building surveyors advise clients about the design, construction, maintenance and refurbishment of buildings.

The range of clients and employers vary considerably from individual dwelling owners to multi-national property companies.

Your main day-to-day responsibilities could include:

  • Inspecting properties for structural defects;
  • Assessing damage for insurance and loss adjustment purposes;
  • Advising on issues such as boundary disputes;
  • Inspecting properties to make sure they meet Building Regulations;
  • Dealing with planning applications.

Working for a small company would likely involve you in all aspects of surveying work, while a larger company may require you to specialise in one area.


To become a qualified building surveyor you will need to complete a degree accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), followed by a course of ongoing professional development. Those without an accredited degree will be required to complete a post-graduate course in a surveying subject.

If you have a HNC/HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician and study for further qualifications whilst working.

If you have a RICS accredited qualification, you can complete the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), a course of practical training to build up your professional knowledge and skills.

Routes to Employment

There are many opportunities and routes to employment as a surveyor. Surveyors are required in a variety of sectors including residential, commercial, leisure, local authority, health, voluntary, agriculture and industry.

Career Development

To progress your career you can continue to study for additional qualifications. You will also be required to undergo Continuous Professional Development (CPD) throughout your career.

Once experienced, building surveyors can progress to project management, where they will be responsible for the planning and co-ordination of projects from inception to completion.

Further progression could be realised as a partner in private practice. You could also, eventually, set up your own practice.

Salaries and Earning Potential

As a graduate surveyor or trainee you can expect to start on between £18,000 to £22,000 per annum. Rising, once qualified, to around £32,000 for a Chartered Surveyor up to £70,000 for a partner in a private practice.

Useful links: