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A Career in Valuation Surveying

Published on: 11 Oct 2016

Freelance - Valuation Surveying (August 2016)

As a general practice surveyor, you would be advising clients on land and property valuations and development, and may be responsible for managing the letting, buying and selling of properties.

This may be the job for you if you enjoy working with different people, and are good at negotiating. A great ability in maths as well as excellent communication skills are necessary for this career.

You’ll need a degree or professional qualification which is accredited by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It is also possible to qualify by studying on a part-time basis, while working as a surveying technician.

Necessary skills, interests and qualities

You'll need to have/be able to:

  • Excellent communication skills, both spoken and written
  • Excellent STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • Ability to negotiate
  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Enhanced analytical skills
  • Ability to develop and maintain great working relationships peers and other professionals
  • A good commercial awareness
  • Good maths skills

Expected work activities

General practice surveyors are involved in the management, valuation, buying, selling and development of land and property and as one, you could work in either the private or public sector. Tasks would typically include:

  • Negotiation of deals which are connected with the buying, selling and renting of property
  • Acting as an agent, and then buying and selling property and land, on behalf of clients
  • Assessing both the environmental impact and the economic viability of development
  • Valuing both land and property
  • Compiling reports for purposes like mortgage valuations, rent reviews and possible investment potential
  • Advising on property values, land purchase, tenure issues and related legislation

It’s possible to specialise in:

  • Development – you would be working with other professionals like town planners, architects, and highways and structural engineers, considering new developments and their financial implications
  • Management – you could manage property on behalf of a landlord and collect rents, as well as dealing with maintenance and repair of properties and ensuring that tenancy agreements are properly followed
  • Investment – advising clients on buying and selling investments or possibly 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

Expected income

Starting salaries are between £20,000 and £25,000 a year although with experience this can rise to between £30,000 and £45,000. Senior staff can earn £50,000 or more. (Figures are intended only a guideline.)

Necessary entry requirements


You can qualify in either of the following ways:

  • Degree route – complete a degree in relevant subjects such as surveying, estate management, building or construction, which is then followed by further professional development
  • Work-based route – start as a trainee surveyor and study for further qualifications whilst working.

Degree route:

Most surveyors hold a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If the degree you currently have is not in a relevant subject, then you can take a postgraduate conversion course.

Work-based route:

If you already hold a HNC/HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, it’s possible to work as a surveying technician whilst taking further qualifications to fully qualify.

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

Further training and development

Once you hold a degree or postgraduate qualification and are working, you can then progress to becoming a chartered surveyor by completing an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). For this it’s necessary to:

  • Complete at least 2 years' postgraduate practical training and experience
  • Pass a practical assessment and interview.

(If you have already completed an accredited industrial training year as part of your degree course, this will count towards the required 2 years.

As a member of the RICS, it’s expected that you complete a set amount of continuing professional development (CPD) each year. This can include online study.

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