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How to Become a Surveyor

Do you think you might be interested in pursuing surveying as a career? Here’s how to get started.

The UK property industry is estimated to be worth a massive £5.2 trillion. So it makes sense that the measurement, management, valuation and protection of these physical and natural assets is big business.

It’s thought that up to 70% of the globe’s wealth is connected to property and land.

And ensuring the integrity and strength of this industry are surveyors. Their responsibilities of those in surveying careers  can cover anything from overseeing planning, design and construction, through to occupation and sustainable usage, from the demolition to redevelopment of sites.

And there are plenty of routes into the industry.

Becoming a Surveyor: How to Make the Move

Before you dedicate time and resources to training as a surveyor, you need to make sure it’s the right path for you.

One day you could be in the office, working with cutting-edge technology, while the next you’re working on the building sites themselves.

You’ll also be working with all different types of people in the field ‒ property developers, safety experts, and architects. 

Because of the varied nature of this career path, there are a range of core skills you might need. 

These include:

  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to display high levels of accuracy and efficiency
  • Ability to work to deadlines and excellent time keeping skills
  • A keen interest in science and geography is also useful if you want to specialise in land surveying.

Choose Your Route

The great thing about this sector is there’s no strict path to qualifying. You can tailor your route to the ways you prefer to learn.

We offer a number of undergraduate and conversion-style postgraduate surveying courses here at Northumbria University. Click here to discover more

Route one: university degree

Many employers in the UK will expect candidates to hold a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited degree. This can be either a Bachelors or Masters – there’s no rule as to when you can enter the field.

If you’ve already got your undergraduate degree, you can take an RICS accredited Masters degree to convert onto the surveying path. You don’t have to have studied Surveying at undergraduate level to get into the profession at this level. Plus a lot of universities, Northumbria included, offer these postgraduate degrees online and part time, meaning you can retrain without causing disruption to your current commitments.

The best thing about choosing the degree path is the wealth of technical knowledge and context you’ll receive during your studies.

Route two: an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is an effective way of gaining the skills you need, on the job. You’ll be on the ground, learning things first-hand, and building a professional network from day one.

And, it’s a route to take if you want or need to start earning straight away. 

If you’ve already done your GCSEs (or equivalent) you can apply for a Surveying Technician Apprenticeship and gain a diploma in Surveying (or equivalent). You’ll also gain the RICS Associate qualification. 

Or if you’ve done your A-levels (or equivalent), you can apply for a Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship, which will earn you a university-level degree as well as the RICS Chartered qualification (MRICS).

We offer a number of degree apprenticeships at Northumbria, including ones in Surveying. Start your search here.

Route three: Sava course

Perhaps you’ve already been working in property and want to develop your skills with an official qualification? In this case, a Sava course might be the best fit. It’s ideal for someone who has professional experience already, and wants to venture into a new career. Find out more here.

Route four: specialist graduate residential surveying programme

A unique combination of on the job experience and classroom-based training, these programmes will help you to get all the practical experience and technical knowledge you need to become a surveyor. 

Trainee surveyors receive tuition which covers a number of essential technical and mandatory competencies outlined by RICS. This curriculum is delivered through seminars, assignments and workshops. Learn more here.

Complete Your APC and Become Chartered

The final step of your qualification is to complete your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

If you take a Chartered Surveying Degree Apprenticeship, sitting the APC is all part of the programme. But if you’ve got less than five years of practical experience under your belt, you’ll need to gain two years of experience in industry. 

Quite a few employers will help you out with your final stages of qualifying. Find out more about it here.


Become a Chartered Surveyor with Northumbria University

Find out more about the RICS accredited Surveying courses we offer below: 

Postgraduate (conversion) degrees

Undergraduate degrees

Degree apprenticeships

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