Planning & Development Surveyor

Job Description:

Planning and development surveyors assess, design and manage development projects in towns, cities and rural areas.

Job Category:
Real Estate

What you will do:

You could:

  • research market data, like land and property records
  • analyse figures using computer software
  • assess whether plans are workable
  • present your recommendations to clients
  • oversee planning applications
  • raise finances from funding bodies, investment
  • companies and development agencies
  • negotiate contracts and tenders
  • advise clients about financial and legal matters, like compulsory purchases
  • work out the likely economic, social and environmental impact of a development


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Planning & Development Surveyor, you typically need a strong educational background in a relevant field, as well as relevant work experience. While there are no specific subjects required, certain subjects and skills can be advantageous for pursuing a career in this field. Below is a list of subjects and skills that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: A solid foundation in mathematics is essential for many aspects of surveying, including calculations related to land measurements, property values, and project budgets.
  2. English: Strong written and verbal communication skills are important for preparing reports, interacting with clients, and presenting findings.
  3. Geography: Geography can provide you with a basic understanding of landforms, geography, and spatial relationships, which are relevant to surveying and land development.
  4. Science: Science subjects like physics and environmental science can be beneficial for understanding the natural environment, including factors like soil composition and environmental impact assessments.
  5. Information Technology (IT): Proficiency in using computer software for data analysis, mapping, and project management is important in the modern surveying profession.
  6. Design and Technology: Courses related to design and technology can provide insights into architectural concepts and construction methods.
  7. Business Studies or Economics: These subjects can be helpful for understanding economic factors that influence property development and real estate markets.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

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

You’ll usually need a degree or professional qualification approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, in the UK, or equivalent in your country.

Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • business studies
  • economics
  • estate management
  • land and property development

If your degree is in a different subject, you could take an accredited postgraduate qualification in surveying.

You could take a college course and enter the profession at technician or higher technician level and then take further professional qualifications or a degree apprenticeship.

Courses include:

  • Diploma in Construction (Level 3 in the UK)
  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction (T Level in the UK)

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • Chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship (level 6 in the UK)
  • Land referencer (Level 4 in the UK)

If you have a higher national diploma or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician, and take further training on the job to qualify as a surveyor.

Other Routes
You could get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company or through distance learning with the UK University College of Estate Management.

you can register with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to become a chartered surveyor through the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) scheme

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical working hours could be variable.

You could work at a client’s business, in an office or visit sites.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could be promoted to project or senior management roles, go into partnership in private practice, or become self-employed as a consultant.

You could also move into other areas of surveying or town planning.