Rural surveyor

agricultural surveyor
Animals, land and environment

Career outlook for rural surveyor

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "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?

You would help the owners of farms and estates to make the most of their land.

Tasks vary, but you might:

  • Manage the day-to-day running of the estate
  • Look after the accounts
  • Produce financial forecasts
  • Give advice on legal and tax issues
  • Deal with grant and subsidy applications
  • Negotiate land access, for example with utility or mining and quarrying companies
  • Work out the value of property, machinery, crops or animals
  • Arrange and conduct auctions
  • Make computer maps of the landscape using special software and tools

It would be important to have a good understanding of the commercial and environmental issues related to farming, forestry and other rual industries. You would also need a sound knowledge of UK and EU agricultural and land-use regulations.

Working conditions


Your working hours would usually be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, a lot of your time would be spent visiting clients on farms or estates, which could mean early starts and late finishes. Auctions may also take place at weekends to maximise attendance.


You would be based in an office but would also visit estates and go to auctions.


As clients may be spread over a wide area, a driving licence is normally required.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Negotiating
  • Taking responsibility

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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.


A degree (SCQF level 9) in areas such as:

  • Agriculture
  • Rural business management
  • Countryside management
  • Business studies
  • Geography
  • Or a related subject such as civil engineering, construction or economics.

Courses should be accredited by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

If the degree is not RICS-accredited you can do an accredited postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11).

You can enter a Quantity or Building Surveying Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter a degree (SCQF level 9/10) you will usually require National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at BBCC or above, or a relevant HNC/HND.

Entry to a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) usually requires an honours degree in a relevant subject.

You can enter a job with qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6 and study part-time for a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8). 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Business management
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Science subjects
  • Technologies subjects

You will also need

Once in work you will become an Associate member of the RICS (AssocRICS)  and complete a period of supervised, structured on-the-job training and an Assessment of Professional Competence.

You will need a driving licence for most jobs.