chartered surveyor
Construction and building

Career outlook for 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?

Surveyors help shape the world around us.  

There are a wide range of surveyor jobs out there, with the work you'd do varying greatly in each.  

The three main areas you could work in as a surveyor are: 

  • land and environment 
  • property 
  • building and construction 

You might make sure the land and environment where people live is being used in a responsible, green way. You could be working out the value of properties and overseeing the process of buying and selling. Or, you could be supervising building projects, from people's homes to skyscrapers and stadiums. 

What you might do: 

  • check buildings for structural damage or defects and advise on repairs 
  • manage projects, keeping them on time and on budget 
  • make sure properties meet building regulations and other legal standards 
  • produce homebuyer reports and energy performance surveys 
  • value property and manage the process of buying and selling 
  • advise on energy efficiency and environmental impact 
  • work on the conservation of historic structures 
  • manage the development and use of land 
  • prepare designs from technical specifications 
  • measure and chart the Earth’s physical and man-made features 

There are many more things you could get involved with as a surveyor. It’s a career with a lot of opportunities and different areas for you to specialise in. 

Have a look at some of our other surveyor profiles to learn more about different specialisms: 

Working conditions


You'd likely work a standard week of between 35 and 40 hours, from Monday to Friday. Depending on the role, you might need to work long, irregular hours including on weekends.


Where you work will depend on the type of surveyor you are. You might work from an office with regular visits to sites. You could also work from sites for extended periods of time to oversee projects.


You'd likely travel regularly as part of your role. This could be to visit land, properties or building sites.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Adaptability
  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Resourceful
  • Problem solving
  • Social conscience
  • Attention to detail
  • Managing resources

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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


There are several paths into this career. 

You might learn on the job and work towards a professional qualification. For example, through an apprenticeship or an employer's training scheme. 

Use our job search to browse opportunities

Find apprenticeship vacancies on

Many employers will value a degree or postgraduate qualification. This could be in surveying or a subject related to the type of surveying specialism you're interested in. For example, construction for a career as a building surveyor. 

To enter a degree course, you'll likely need 4 Highers at BBCC or better. Some courses will allow entry if you have a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND). 

Entry to HNC and HND course varies depending on the subject and type of course. It will be helpful to have at least 1 Higher at C, preferably in a relevant subject such as maths or science. You might also need National 5 qualifications or a National Certificate in a relevant subject. 

You can search RICS accredited courses on their website. Search for the right course for you

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offer many accreditations. These show that individuals and organisations have appropriate qualifications. 

Useful subjects

  • maths 
  • English 
  • science subjects 
  • technology subjects 
  • business management 
  • geography 
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in Construction 
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering 

You will also need

A Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card if you're working on building sites. You need to pass a health and safety test to qualify for this scheme. 

Read more about CSCS cards and how to apply on the scheme’s website.

Helpful to have

A driving licence might be helpful for the travel involved. A good level of physical fitness could also be handy as this can be an active job when you’re working on sites.