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Surveyors will provide professional advice on construction projects and generally will have responsibility for leading a team to follow their recommendations.


Average salaries are in the region of £26,000.00 to £45,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Surveyors will provide professional advice on construction projects and generally will have responsibility for leading a team to follow their recommendations.

What they do

Surveyors must be able to both work on their own initiative and as part of a team. Extensive travel often has to be undertaken as a normal part of the job so surveyors must be able to adapt to new environments and surroundings.

As a surveyor you could be working on residential, commercial, industrial, or leisure projects, so a broad interest in construction is an advantage. The design and development of new buildings is a key responsibility for surveyors, as is overseeing the restoration and maintenance of existing buildings, some of which may have historical importance.

Typical tasks include

  • Ensuring projects are completed to schedule
  • Managing budgets
  • Preparing designs from specifications
  • Assessing the condition of existing buildings
  • Identifying potential defects
  • Advising on energy efficiency and environmental impact
  • Working on the conservation of historic structures
  • Managing planning applications
  • Advising on relevant legal requirements and legislation
  • Considering health and safety implications

Surveying is a key part of construction and there is a wealth of information from The Survey Association for those interested in pursuing it as a career.

Hours & salary

  • Typically, surveyors work around 40 hours a week, usually between 9am and 6pm.
  • It is uncommon for overnight or weekend work to apply but could in exceptional circumstances.
  • Newly trained surveyors can earn in the region of £16,000£26,000
  • Trained with experience surveyors can earn in the region of £20,000£32,000
  • Senior or chartered surveyors can earn in the region of £32,000£45,000
  • Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility.
  • Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.

Head to the Careers Explorer A-Z to get more information on all the construction vacancies on offer.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

What does your role involve? 

My role requires the commercial management of various types of construction projects including commercial, educational and residential type developments. Key responsibilities include the procurement of all subcontractor trades i.e. bricklayers, and the management of these accounts and also the financial reporting aspect on a monthly basis. 

What do you like about your job? 

The reason I chose to work in the construction industry was the variety that it brings. No two days are ever the same. I have been fortunate enough to work on projects in various towns and cities within the region including Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Southend. The job also allows me to meet and interact with lots of different people and cultures. 

What's your working day like? 

My working day starts early (which seems to be the norm within the industry). I usually arrive at my desk at around 7am and start working. the industry involves a lot of emails, meetings, workshops and site visits which take up a large proportion of my time. Depending on the project and size of the commercial team I am also responsible for setting tasks and reviewing the work that the junior members of the team produce. 

What skills do you need in your job? 

Good mathematical skills are not essential, but do help. Generally being good with numbers is a strong starting point. With the continuing development of technology, strong IT skills seem to be a requirement with most roles now in construction. My particular role as a QS involves the production of lots of spread sheets, formulas etc. dealing with subcontractors on a daily basis means that good negotiation skills are required. And finally, like with most team related careers, good communication skills are essential to successfully delivering a construction project.

What was your background before starting this role?

I completed GCSEs and A-levels before joining Wates Construction on their Commercial Management Trainee programme back in 2007.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I recently became a chartered surveyor with the RICS, and I achieved a first class BSc Honours degree in quantity surveying.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Still working for Wates Construction at a more senior level (i.e. commercial manager) and running larger and more complicated projects.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about a career in construction?

My advice would be to work for a well-established construction company with a good reputation. Wates have fully supported my training and actually paid for me to complete my part time degree while gaining experience (and a salary) at work. There are so many different roles in the industry with the flexibility to change if you are not enjoying what you have picked. 

Qualifications & Training

There are no formal qualifications required for becoming a surveyor; however, you may want to complete GCSE’s in Mathematics and English or their equivalents, such as the Welsh Baccalaureate or Scottish Nationals.

To pursue a senior position a BSc Honours Degree in surveying, engineering or construction in England; the equivalent L6 NVQ / HNC in Wales, or the Scottish equivalent, will most likely be required. Some positions will require a Masters Degree as well, or chartered status with a relevant body.

However, experience is often very important too, so entrants with other qualifications might be considered. 

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

 

Indeed

Reed

Property Jobs

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

 

 

Career trends and forecasts

4210 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 4210 Surveyors every year between 2017 - 2021.  The highest demand will be in the South East followed by West Midlands, Wales, North East and North West.

 

Search other careers

Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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