Building Surveying

Career Options

Surveying is an incredibly broad profession. Although a RICS accredited degree will provide you with transferable core skills and business knowledge you will also need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) in order to practice as a Chartered Surveyor with the MRICS designation.

There are three main groupings of RICS pathways - property, construction and land, and within these there are specialist pathways. Building surveying falls under the Construction pathway. You can explore options within the construction and property sections on TARGETjobs, and Prospects, where there are some informative job profiles and case studies of recent graduates.  For example, see Building Surveyor and Building Control Surveyor

Where can I work?

There is no such thing as a "typical" work setting for a building surveyor as a range of opportunities exist within the private and public sectors. Typical employers include specialist surveying firms/consultancies, property consultancies, central government, local authorities, large property owning organisations (eg. housing associations, leisure groups, retailers, the NHS) and the surveying sections of building civil engineering contractors. With experience, it is possible to set up your own practice. 

Other options

Pursuing a career directly related to your degree is not your only option. There are many roles in a range of sectors that make use of the skills and knowledge you gain on your course. Many graduate jobs consider graduates from any discipline and you will have developed key transferable skills that could be applied to a range of settings. To explore areas not directly related to your degree subject, good starting points can be the ProspectsTARGETJobs, and the National Careers Service websites, where you can find a range of sector briefings, job profiles, case studies, typical employers and links to specialist vacancy sources.

 Destinations of recent Sheffield Hallam graduates include

  • Construction Site Manager for Mortenson Construction
  • Graduate Building Surveyor for Rider Levett Bucknall
  • Project Manager for SDD exhibitions


In addition to having knowledge relevant to the particular role, common skills and qualities typically sought after include:

  • technical knowledge and competence
  • a logical and practical mind
  • good oral and written communication skills, including presentation and report writing skills
  • ability to build lasting relationships with clients and colleagues
  • ability to negotiate
  • analysis and problem solving skills
  • commercial awareness and ability to ensure you are adding maximum value to clients' businesses
  • ability to work under pressure and accept responsibility

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer led organisations that aim to reduce skills gaps and shortages to improve productivity and performance and to increase opportunities to boost the skills of each sector's workforce. Construction Skills and The Building Futures Group are most relevant and contain a wealth of useful careers and employability information such as career profiles and case studies, relevant industry events and news and reports on skills gaps.

Finding experience and jobs

You can find jobs and work experience opportunities and a wealth of information and advice about job/ work experience search and applications, interview techniques and employer insights on TARGETjobs and RICS Recruit.  Don't forget to check out the Finding A Job section for general advice about job hunting, applications and networking/social media. UniHub advertises relevant graduate vacancies and summer internships and the D&S placement blackboard site advertises undergraduate sandwich placements.

Many companies follow an annual recruitment cycle for both graduates and sandwich placement students. Deadlines are typically November-January, however watch out for earlier deadlines in October. Some regional offices and smaller companies may recruit outside of this cycle so keep looking for opportunities throughout the year. Many (but not all) employers sign up to a voluntary charter which bounds them to good practice in terms of making offers for graduate roles and not putting undue pressure on finalists to quickly accept offers. Please see 'Useful Files' for further detail.

However, many opportunities (particularly work experience and opportunities with smaller firms) are not always advertised so a proactive approach is often effective. Approach employers directly to enquire about opportunities. Useful resources to get details of employers include local authority websites, and the RICS 'Find a Surveyor' tool.

Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:25