If you want to work in property and construction as a surveyor, explore the different options available and decide what you want to specialise in
Building control surveyor
You'll be responsible for checking whether proposals for new or renovated buildings meet relevant regulations and, if they don't, providing advice on how to adapt the plans.
Among your duties will be inspecting building sites while construction is in progress, testing foundations and drainage works, writing reports following visits and issuing certificates when work has been completed to the required standard. You'll also have to be tactful and ready to be firm when explaining that work is not up to scratch.
Employed by local authorities throughout the UK - as well as in the private sector in England and Wales - it's essential that you keep up to date with legislation in areas such as public health, fire safety, energy conservation and accessibility.
Find out more about what it takes to become a building control surveyor.
Compiling reports known as building surveys, you'll identify problems and suggest options for repair and maintenance. You'll advise on the restoration of existing buildings and the design of new ones, with the aim of ensuring that buildings are sustainable.
It's likely that you'll spend a lot of time working on your own on site visits, and you'll also need to be willing to travel. Good communication skills are vital so that you can relay your findings and advice to clients.
If you don't have an undergraduate degree accredited by a professional body such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), you can take a RICS-accredited Masters course. You will then be eligible to work towards gaining chartered status, leading to more senior positions and higher salaries.
Explore the building surveyor job profile.
You'll be involved in the management, purchase, sale or leasing of land and property. Specialising in either residential or commercial property, your role may be focused on consultancy, development, investment, management or planning.
A deep knowledge of the current property market is essential as you apply your expertise to value properties, assess the viability of developments, negotiate rents, sell and buy property on behalf of clients and manage portfolios - among many other potential duties.
As with several careers in property and construction, a RICS-accredited degree at undergraduate or postgraduate level will help you get started and give you the chance to work towards chartered status.
Learn more about launching your career as a commercial/residential surveyor.
A career that spans both the construction and energy and utilities sectors, as a minerals surveyor you'll assess the commercial potential of mining or quarrying sites, investigate environmental impacts and negotiate legal contracts.
You'll also be involved in the management of the site while extraction is ongoing and restoring the land afterwards. Liaising with the public and local authorities to provide information and advice is a key part of the role.
A degree in a relevant subject such as civil or mining engineering, earth sciences, economics, geography, geology or surveying will be beneficial. It's also a good idea to work towards chartered status with RICS.
Find out more about the role of a minerals surveyor.
Planning and development surveyor
Your job will be to advise public and private sector clients on their investment choices, taking into account economic, social and environment factors. It's crucial that you have a good understanding of rapidly-changing market conditions to provide insights into planning, development, conservation and transport options.
Among your tasks will be to identify new investment opportunities, negotiate competitive proposals, prepare and present planning applications, manage projects and ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
You'll need a RICS-accredited degree, postgraduate or professional qualification in order to progress in this profession. Employers include planning consultancies, commercial development companies, property firms, landowners and public utilities.
Browse the planning and development surveyor job profile for more details.
Playing a crucial role in building and civil engineering projects, as a quantity surveyor you'll manage costs throughout and ensure value for money while guaranteeing that required standards are still met and quality is maintained.
You'll be involved in undertaking feasibility studies and analysing costs, identifying commercial risks, advising on contracts, arranging payments and allocating work to subcontractors.
Studying for a RICS-accredited undergraduate degree or postgraduate conversion course are the most common entry routes, allowing you to work towards becoming a chartered surveyor. You'll require a combination of excellent financial management skills and in-depth knowledge of the property sector.
Discover more about how to become a quantity surveyor.
Rural practice surveyor
Careers in property and construction are most commonly associated with city-based developments and investments, but if your interests lie in rural land and property then this may be the job for you.
As a rural practice surveyor you'll advise clients in your areas of specialist knowledge, which could be agriculture, auctioneering and valuation, environmental regulations and practices, forests, or property and management.
Your duties might include managing rural estates (such as farms), identifying new uses for rural properties, valuing land, assisting clients who want to buy rural property and advising on how to enhance landscapes.
See the rural practice surveyor job profile for more information.