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General practice surveyor

General practice surveyors are involved in the management, valuation, buying, selling and development of land and property.

General practice surveyors are involved in the management, valuation, buying, selling and development of land and property.

As a general practice surveyor, you could work in either the private or public sector. Your tasks would typically include:

  • negotiating deals connected with buying, selling and renting property
  • acting as an agent, buying and selling property and land on behalf of clients
  • assessing environmental impact and economic viability of development
  • valuing land and property
  • compiling reports for purposes such as valuation for mortgages, rent reviews and investment potential
  • advising on property values, land purchase, tenure issues and related legislation.

You could specialise in:

  • development – working with other professionals such as town planners, architects, and highways and structural engineers to consider new developments and their financial implications
  • management – managing property on behalf of a landlord, collecting rents, dealing with maintenance and repair and making sure tenancy agreements are followed
  • investment – advising clients on buying and selling individual investments or managing large property portfolios
  • Valuation Office Agency work – valuing property on behalf of the government, local authorities and public bodies for business rates, capital taxation, purchase and sale.

Some estate agents are qualified surveyors. See the Estate Agent profile for more details of this career.

Hours

You would usually work up to 40 hours a week. In the private sector you would often need to work extra hours, including weekends, to meet deadlines, visit sites or meet with clients. In the public sector your hours would usually be more regular.

You would work both in an office and on site, which may involve being outside in all weather conditions. You would also spend time visiting clients and sometimes need to stay away from home.

Income

  • Starting salaries can be from £19,000 to £25,000 a year.
  • With experience this can rise to between £30,000 and £40,000.
  • Senior staff can earn in excess of £50,000.

Entry requirements

You could qualify as a general practice surveyor in either of the following ways:

  • degree route – completing a degree in a relevant subject such as surveying, estate management, building or construction, followed by professional development
  • work-based route – starting as a trainee surveyor and studying for further qualifications whilst working.

Degree route

Most general practice surveyors have a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If your degree is not in a relevant subject, you could take a postgraduate conversion course. 

If you are working in engineering or construction, you could take a distance learning postgraduate conversion course with the College of Estate Management (CEM).

Work-based route
If you have an HNC/HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician with a company and take further qualifications to fully qualify. See the Technical Surveyor job profile.

You can also qualify as a chartered surveyor through The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) - there are various routes depending on your qualifications and experience. See The CIOB website for details

Training and development

Once you have your degree or postgraduate qualification and are in relevant employment, you can work towards becoming a chartered surveyor by completing an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). For this you will need to:

  • complete at least two years' postgraduate practical training and experience
  • pass a practical assessment and interview.

If you successfully completed an accredited industrial training year as part of your degree course, this will count towards the two-year requirement.

As a RICS member you would be expected to complete a certain amount of continuing professional development (CPD) each year. This can include online study. Contact RICS for details.

You can also qualify as a chartered surveyor through The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) – there are various routes depending on your qualifications and experience.

Skills, interests and qualities

  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • excellent STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • negotiating skills
  • the ability to work well as a member of a team
  • analytical skills
  • the ability to develop and maintain working relationships with other professionals
  • commercial awareness
  • good maths skills.

Opportunities

In the public sector, you could work for regional development agencies, local authorities, hospital trusts, universities and central government departments.

In private practice, you could work in either the commercial or residential property sectors. In the commercial sector employers include large surveying practices, house building companies and property developers. In the residential sector, you could work for large national chains of estate agents, or major regional firms.

As a qualified surveyor, you could move into a specialist area such as auctioning of land, property or plant and machinery, or valuation and auctioning of fine arts and antiques.

  • Date published: 23rd November 2015

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