Building Surveyor

Job Description:

Building surveyors advise clients about the design, construction, maintenance and repair of buildings.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • survey properties, identify structural faults and recommend repairs
  • assess damage for insurance purposes
  • establish who’s responsible for building repair costs
  • advise clients on issues like property boundary disputes
  • act as an expert witness during legal proceedings
  • make sure properties meet building regulations, fire safety and accessibility standards
  • deal with planning applications and improvement or conservation grants


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of building and construction
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to use your initiative (ambition)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • persistence and determination
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Building Surveyor, specific qualifications are not always mandatory. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in building surveying. Building Surveyors typically require a combination of education, professional training, and practical experience. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are essential for Building Surveyors, as they often perform calculations related to construction measurements, dimensions, and costs.
  2. English Language: Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for writing reports, conducting surveys, and communicating with clients and construction professionals.
  3. Science (Optional): Courses in science, particularly physics, can provide insights into principles related to structural stability, material science, and the behaviour of materials in construction.
  4. Design and Technology (Optional): Courses in design and technology can introduce you to architectural and construction principles, building materials, and the design process.
  5. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Basic computer skills are beneficial, as Building Surveyors often use software for data analysis, report generation, and communication.
  6. Geography (Optional): Courses in geography can be useful for understanding the geographical and environmental aspects of construction projects.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme


You’ll usually need a degree or professional qualification in a subject like:

  • surveying
  • construction
  • civil engineering
  • building engineering

If you graduated in any other subject, you could do a surveying postgraduate conversion course. These usually lead to a master’s degree or postgraduate diploma.

Entry requirements vary, so check with individual universities which degrees might be preferred.


You could do a chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship.

It may be possible to work towards this role by doing a surveying technician apprenticeship. This will teach you some of the skills and knowledge required. You would then need to take further qualifications to gain chartered surveyor status.


If you have a relevant foundation degree or higher national diploma and are working, for example as a surveying technician, you may be able to get more qualifications on the job.

Other Routes

You could do a postgraduate surveying qualification through a company graduate trainee scheme

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.

You could work on a construction site, at a client’s home or in an office. Your working environment may be at height, outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into project or senior management.

You could go into partnership in private practice or become self-employed as a consultant.

You could move into a related field, like building control.