Building Surveyor

Average Salary: £35,000 - £40,000
Competition: LOW
Years Experience: 3-6 years

Job Summary

The construction of buildings is something you have to get right. For instance, if you use the wrong materials, they may erode quickly and cause a building to have leaks and all sorts. No one wants to watch TV in the rain! It’s why Building Surveyors are there to advise on the construction of new buildings as well as the maintenance and restoration of existing buildings.


You can be expected to work on anything from basic restoration projects to multimillion-pound projects, which can include buildings of historic importance. This is not a career for people who can’t stand the great British weather, as you’ll be based on-site for the majority of your working hours. As a Building Surveyor, you’ll normally have the following job responsibilities:

  • Establishing a building’s condition and identifying its defects by undertaking land surveys and property valuations
  • Advising clients about the identified issues, which can also include technical, legal and environmental matters
  • Liaising with Architects to determine design plans, materials and cost estimates
  • Preparing contracts, legal documentations and planning applications
  • Periodically monitoring progress of project, making sure work is completed on time and within budget
  • Producing detailed project reports to the Surveying team, outlining progress and any potential issues

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Building Surveyor should:

  • Have excellent written and verbal skills amongst a variety of parties
  • Be able to problem solve effectively, whilst being innovative
  • Have strong budgeting skills and commercial awareness
  • Possess an analytical and logical mindset
  • Show great project and time management skills
  • Be able plan, prioritise and organise effectively

Entry Routes

If you can imagine yourself restoring the likes of Wembley Stadium, becoming a Building Surveyor may be your type of thing! You'll be happy to know that this career is open to all graduates. But (there’s always a but), employers would prefer individuals who have studied a degree in Building Surveying. This not only shows your keen interest in the field, but will help if you wish to progress further as a Chartered Surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Other degrees in relation to property and construction, Geography and even Mathematics are still viewed as relevant. However, they may need to be accompanied with a RICS accredited Masters degree.

If you have the choice to take a sandwich year in industry or not, take it! Gaining relevant work experience from summer placements and internships, will also help land you a job entering this career.

Job Progression

Assistant Building Surveyor

Building Surveyor

Senior Building Surveyor

Associate Building Surveyor

Associate Director

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Variety - Projects are very rarely the same or repetitive
  • Inspiring Projects - Opportunity to work on some really ambitious and historical buildings
  • Satisfaction - Nothing better than seeing a building successfully constructed, that you've helped be a part of

The Bad

  • Long Hours - Unexpected problems will always occur and can take a long time to resolve
  • Paperwork - Can be tedious at times
  • Difficult People - Sometimes working with other people can be frustrating, as they may not have the same professionalism as you