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Building Surveyor

If you enjoy problem solving and are interested in the design and construction of buildings, a career as a building surveyor would suit you

Building surveyors provide professional advice on property and construction, completing detailed reports known as building surveys. They identify defects and advise on repair and maintenance options.

As well as advising on the restoration and maintenance of existing buildings, they also work on the design and development of new buildings. The nature of the work may range from the design of large, multimillion-pound structures to modest adaptations and repairs. It can also involve working with buildings of architectural or historic importance.

Building surveyors often work on preventative measures to keep buildings in good condition and look for ways to make buildings sustainable. They may also be called upon to give evidence in court in cases where building regulations have been breached and as expert witnesses on building defects and dilapidations.

Discover more about this career and other professions in construction on one of our Budding Brunels courses - find a course near you.


This career information has been adapted from Prospects and National Careers Service


What The Job Involves

What are the key responsibilities for this position?


Key Responsibilities

ensure projects are completed on budget and to schedule;
advise clients on schemes and projects and determine requirements
prepare scheme designs with costings, programmes for completion of projects and specification of works
organise documents for tender and advise on appointing contractors, designers and procurement routes
determine the condition of existing buildings, identify and analyse defects, including proposals for repair
advise on energy efficiency, environmental impact and sustainable construction
instruct on the preservation/conservation of historic buildings
advise on the management and supervision of maintenance of buildings
deal with planning applications and advise on property legislation and building regulations
assess and design buildings to meet the needs of people with disabilities
instruct on construction design and management regulations
negotiate dilapidations (when there is a legal liability for a property's state of disrepair
carry out feasibility studies
advise on the health and safety aspects of buildings
advise on boundary and ‘right to light’ disputes and party wall procedures
prepare insurance assessments and claims


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Entry Requirements

an accredited 2.1 or higher RICS or CIOB degree, or a regular degree followed by an accredited conversion course
Academic requirements are more or less similar to those required for quantity surveyors

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

technical knowledge and competence
a logical and practical mind
good oral and written communication skills
the ability to build lasting relationships with clients and colleagues
negotiation, presentation and report writing skills
the ability to analyse problems in order to identify solutions
commercial awareness and the ability to ensure that you are adding maximum value to clients' businesses
the ability to take on high levels of responsibility and be enthusiastic and motivated
good IT skills, including computer-aided design (CAD)
a driving licence - usually essential, especially if you are going to be involved in a design role

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

The following figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salary & Progression

Graduate building surveyors can expect to earn around £22,000 to £26,000, although in London this may be higher
With a few years' experience building surveyors earn in the region of £28,000 to £50,000. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) the average salary is £44,000
Chartered building surveyors usually earn 15% more than their non-chartered counterparts; at senior level they can earn up to £70,000. Partners and directors have the potential to reach six-figure salaries
Salaries vary depending on location, with central London offering the highest
Additional benefits often include a company car, mobile telephone and pension
Income data from the RICS. Figures are intended as a guide only
Case Study

James Parr

Graduate Surveyor

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Throughout the graduate programme my day-to-day role has changed, but the job always involves advising occupiers, landlords or investors on property occupation or investment performance, collaborating, analysing latest market transactions/ industry news and networking.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The mix of challenging, technical work alongside the social side of the industry.

Read the full interview here.

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