Everything You Wanted to Know About Becoming a Building Surveyor
What the Job Entails
As a building surveyor you may find yourself working on projects involving just about every type of real estate; residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and even leisure properties like hotels and spas. The work will involve things like developing new buildings and also restoring and maintaining existing buildings.
A building surveyor may have many different responsibilities on a particular project. You will have to make sure the projects get completed on schedule and on budget. You may have to determine the condition of the building and identify any issues that need to be addressed. You may be called upon to give advice on energy efficiency or the environmental impact of a construction project. You may have to prepare assessments and insurance claims. You may have to advise clients on building codes and regulations and you will have to be familiar with the laws that pertain to real estate. Basically, your job as a building surveyor will require you to have knowledge in nearly every conceivable area when it comes to real estate.
Hours and Salary
As a building surveyor you will typically work anywhere from 30 to 40 hours per week and your hours are likely to be 9 AM to 5 PM. If you are just getting out of school, your first job may pay anywhere from £18,000 to £26,000. If you are chartered you can earn even more. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, being chartered will allow you to earn 15% more income than people who are not chartered. If you are chartered and you have a few years of experience, you may expect to earn a salary of around £45,000.
For chartered building surveyors, work is plentiful. You won’t have to spend much time behind a desk either because a building surveyor spends a lot of time at the job site. You also may be able to enjoy certain perks like a company vehicle, a mobile phone, and even a pension.
If you graduate from university with nearly any degree, you may be able to find employment as a building surveyor. However, having a degree in building surveying will greatly improve your odds. Having some technical knowledge in the field is also very beneficial. There are also a number of courses you can study that will help you find employment in this field. Things like science, mathematics, economics, social sciences, and urban studies are particularly helpful.
You may also wish to pursue a degree that is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors because an accredited degree will allow you to take the training required to become a chartered surveyor. For people with a degree that is not accredited or is unrelated to building surveying, you can go on to pursue a RICS accredited degree and some employers will even support you through your postgraduate training.
Getting Started in the Field
One way to get started in the building surveying field is to find employment as a surveying technician. This type of work will involve less complicated tasks and come with less responsibility than that of a building surveyor, but it will offer some good experience which will help to make you more qualified for employment as a building surveyor in the future.
The good news is that the RICS has reported that supply exceeds demand for chartered building surveyors. If you have the proper training, finding a job shouldn’t be too difficult. If you have the proper training and some prior experience, things will be even easier.
Skills That Employers Are Looking for
- Good problem solving skills
- Good communication skills
- The ability to work as part of a team
- Technical knowledge in the field
- Knowledge of building regulations
- A good understanding of planning legislation and also health and safety issues