Published: 24 Jul 2009
What is a building surveyor?
A building surveyor provides professional advice on all aspects of an existing building. He or she will work on site to monitor the performance of the structure.
This is a wide and varied profession and work may include design, maintenance, alteration, repair, refurbishment and restoration of existing buildings.
Building surveying is less of a desk bound job than some of the other branches of surveying, with a large proportion of the working day spent on site.
The work will involve organising structural surveys, ensuring projects are completed in time, carrying out legal work that will include negotiating with local planning bodies, advising clients on areas such as sustainability or the preservation of historical or listed buildings.
The building surveyor technician will work in a similar capacity but with less supervisory responsibilities than the building surveyor and often on less complex schemes.
Becoming a building surveyor
You will need a relevant degree which will often cover general aspects of construction with a focus on valuation, project management, engineering, law and economics.
A course that is accredited by either the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Chartered Institute of Building or Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors will help towards obtaining professional qualification once working.
Salaries vary depending on location, with central London generally offering the highest.
Figures from 2008 show graduates earning roughly around £18,000 - £20,000 outside London and up to £24,000 in the capital.
Chartered surveyors will earn more around £32,000 and a partner can earn above £70,000.