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Commercial/residential surveyor: Salary and conditions

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  • Typical starting salaries range from £19,000 to £25,000. This is likely to increase with experience to between £30,000 and £36,000. Qualification as a chartered surveyor attracts a higher salary.
  • Range of senior level salaries (e.g. after 10 to 15 years in the role) is £35,000 to £62,000. Average salary at this level is around £50,000.
  • Those who specialise in financial services and investment analysis are the best paid.
  • Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  earn more than their non-RICS counterparts.
  • A working week is usually 40 hours, although in the private sector, regular extra hours are expected, which might include weekends. This may be required to meet deadlines, liaise with clients or network with other professionals. In order to progress in the private sector, you will usually need to work longer than average hours, though there is some variation within the cultures of different firms.
  • In the public sector, working hours will usually be regular and may be based on flexitime. Networking and making personal contacts takes up less time for surveyors in the public sector.
  • Work is office based but also involves a lot of time out of the office, attending meetings, visiting sites and meeting with clients.
  • The dress code tends to be smart and it is expected that surveyors will be smartly dressed even when visiting sites.
  • Opportunities for qualified surveyors exist throughout the UK, but there is a large concentration of them in London and the South East where the large firms are based.
  • Career breaks are possible but you must keep up with legal and market developments.
  • Self-employment and freelance work are frequently possible, particularly for surveyors in private practice who have good qualifications and significant experience, and there is the possibility to work from home. These opportunities may occur in all areas of work, but especially in valuation.
  • Travel within a working day is frequent and may involve absence from home overnight.
  • Overseas work or travel is rare but is increasing, particularly in the fields of investment, valuation and consultancy.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
April 2014

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