Job type

Building surveyor

£25k - £70k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

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

More info

  • Advise clients about building design, construction and maintenance
  • Requires analytical thinking skills, to be detail oriented and the ability to use your initiative
  • Site work takes place in all weather conditions, and you may have to work at height

As a building surveyor, you'll work in surveying, legal work, and planning and inspection. Building surveyors advise clients on technical, design, maintenance and repair on a range of property types, and complete detailed reports identifying defects and advising on repair and maintenance options.


  • Survey properties
  • Identify structural faults and make recommendations for repairs
  • Assess damage for insurance purposes
  • Establish who's responsible for building repair costs
  • Advise clients on issues like property boundary disputes
  • Act as a client's supporter or act as an expert witness during legal proceedings
  • Check properties to make sure they meet building regulations and fire safety and accessibility standards
  • Deal with planning applications and with improvement or conservation grants


You'll work with clients ranging from homeowners to large commercial and industrial companies. Your time will be split between office and site work. Some contracts may involve spending periods of time away from home and therefore a driving licence may be required. Site work takes place in all weather conditions, and you may have to work on dangerous structures and at height.

You'll need

To be a building surveyor you should have good analytical thinking skills, to be detail oriented and have the ability to use your initiative.

You'll need to complete a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited degree course, like surveying, construction, civil engineering, or building engineering, followed by professional development training. If you have a non-RICS accredited degree, you'll need to take a postgraduate course in surveying. 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.

You may be able to do a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship. To do this apprenticeship, you'll need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a higher or a degree apprenticeship.

If you have an HNC, HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to start working as a surveying technician and then take further qualifications. Some employers may also offer a degree apprenticeship programme.

You can register with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to become a chartered surveyor through the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) scheme.


With experience, you may progress to full project management, taking responsibility for the planning, control and coordination of projects from inception to completion. Success in these roles can bring the opportunity to be a departmental head or manager in the public sector and, in private practice, a director or partner.

Once chartered, some people may choose to specialise and become an expert in one particular area, such as building defects or sustainability, or in a particular sector such as residential or retail. Others may choose self-employment in private practice, or working as a consultant. You could also move into a related field, like building control.