Building standards officer (local authority)

building standards surveyor
Construction and building

Career outlook for building standards officer (local authority)

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Do you have an interest in buildings, construction and keeping people safe? Do you have good attention to detail, are able to problem solve and enjoy working with IT?  If so, a job as a building standards officer may be for you.

You’d work with members of the public, architects, designers, builders and engineers as they plan and construct building projects ranging from a small house extension to a large-scale development.

What you'll do:

  • Assess building plans and specifications to determine compliance with building regulations
  • Prepare and issue technical reports to designers and architects
  • Work with designers and architects to find the best solutions for their clients
  • Visit sites to inspect building work during development
  • Liaise with developers and their clients as work progresses
  • If you decide that a building project does not meet regulations, you would work with the applicant to make changes to the plans and ensure the work meets the Scottish building regulations
  • If a building has been damaged, for example by fire or bad weather, then you would survey the building and advise the owners what they need to do to make it safe. If it cannot be repaired then you would approve its demolition
  • You may also on occasion check the safety at public venues like sports grounds, open-air events, cinemas and theatres and authorise entertainment licenses for events in terms of electrical work, structures and fire safety

Working conditions


You would normally work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may sometimes be on a 24-hour call-out rota, for example if the emergency services needed you to inspect an unstable building.


You will usually split your time between the office and site visits. You can be on site in all weather conditions and some jobs may involve working at heights on scaffolding or ladders.


You are likely to travel between your local authority office and the location of the building work.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Written communication
  • Observation
  • Questioning
  • Researching
  • Making decisions
  • Negotiating
  • Analysing
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.  Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they do ask for relevant experience, usually work based.

You can develop the necessary skills for this role through a variety of routes.

Many Building Standard Officers will have qualifications in subjects, such as:

  • Building surveying
  • Structural/Civil engineering
  • Architecture
  • Construction management


You can gain skills and qualifications in the workplace through options such as:

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are chosen as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 but include hands-on learning at a local employer or college. They are the same level as a Higher.

You might want to consider an FA in areas such as:

  • Civil engineering

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) mean you learn on the job. You get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider an MA in areas such as:

  • Construction: Building
  • Construction: Technical
  • Construction: Civil engineering
  • Project management

​​​​​​​Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) are designed for industry and you'll spend most of your time learning on the job but you'll also go to uni or college. You'll get a job, get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider a GA in areas such as:

  • Construction and the built environment
  • Civil engineering

Anyone considering a Building Standards career who already has a trade in construction or a construction background may find conversion courses are a suitable route into the profession, with other support being available to them whilst in post.


Professional Bodies

A number of professional bodies recognise Building Standards as a profession.  Many of the skills required in the Building Standards profession can be accredited by professional bodies. Professional bodies also offer courses to improve skills and knowledge.  These bodies are:

•    Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
•    Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
•    Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
•    Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
•    Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE)
•    Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses) 
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Science subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show experience with the built environment and construction.

A driving licence is useful.

As public service professionals work with public safety at the heart of everything they do, you would be expected to engage in regular continual professional development (CPD) to learn new skills and specialisms to enhance your career, stay proficient, competent and adjust to industry disruption and challenges.