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Building surveyor: Salary and conditions

  • Graduate building surveyors can expect to earn around £18,500 to £22,000, although in London this may be higher. Chartered building surveyors are likely to start on a higher salary than non-chartered surveyors. Chartered surveyors earn 15% more than those who haven't reached chartered status according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) .
  • Chartered surveyors may be able to reach salaries of around £48,000 within five years and up to about £60,000 at senior level. Partners and directors have the potential to reach six figure salaries.
  • Additional benefits often include a company car, mobile telephone and pension.
  • Salaries vary depending on location, with central London offering the highest.
  • Working hours are generally nine to five, although you may be required to work longer hours. Meeting and socialising with clients can sometimes require out-of-hours working.
  • The work is much less desk bound than some branches of surveying, with a large proportion of the working day spent on site. This may require working alone for significant periods of time.
  • A reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required, as the job may involve working on scaffolding and in difficult spaces. However, physically disabled surveyors are to be found within the profession.
  • Jobs are available in most areas of the country, especially if you reach chartered status.
  • Self-employment/freelance work is common in private practice, specialising in building surveying, or working with other specialists such as architects and quantity surveyors. In the longer term, there may be opportunities to establish your own consultancy or become a partner or corporate director.
  • Local/regional travel within a working day is frequent. This may be to meet with contractors to discuss technical documents or to visit clients/members of the public who have no knowledge of construction. This means that good communication will be required at all times. Overnight absence from home is uncommon.
  • Overseas work or travel is occasional.

Salary data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
August 2014

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