Register | Login

General Practice Surveyor

Source of Information: Next Step / DirectGov / Careers Advice Service

General Practice Surveyor

The Work

General practice surveyors are involved in the management, valuation, buying, selling and development of land and property.

As a general practice surveyor, you could work in either the private or public sector. Your tasks would typically include:

  • negotiating deals connected with buying, selling and renting property
  • acting as an agent, buying and selling property and land on behalf of clients
  • assessing environmental impact and economic viability of development
  • valuing land and property
  • compiling reports for purposes such as valuation for mortgages, rent reviews and investment potential
  • advising on property values, land purchase, tenure issues and related legislation.
You could specialise in:
  • development working with other professionals such as town planners, architects, and highways and structural engineers to consider new developments and their financial implications
  • management managing property on behalf of a landlord, collecting rents, dealing with maintenance and repair and making sure tenancy agreements are followed
  • investment advising clients on buying and selling individual investments or managing large property portfolios
  • Valuation Office Agency work valuing property on behalf of the government, local authorities and public bodies for business rates, capital taxation, purchase and sale.

Some estate agents are qualified surveyors. See the Estate Agent profile for more details of this career.

Hours and Environment

You would usually work up to 40 hours a week. In the private sector you would often need to work extra hours, including weekends, to meet deadlines, visit sites or meet with clients. In the public sector your hours would usually be more regular.

You would work both in an office and on site, which may involve being outside in all weather conditions. You would also spend time visiting clients.

Skills and Interests

  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • negotiating skills
  • the ability to work well as a member of a team
  • analytical skills
  • the ability to develop and maintain working relationships with other professionals
  • commercial awareness
  • good maths skills.


You could qualify as a general practice surveyor in either of the following ways:

  • degree route completing a degree in a relevant subject such as surveying, estate management, building or construction, followed by professional development
  • work-based route starting as a trainee surveyor and studying for qualifications whilst working.

Degree route
Most general practice surveyors have a degree recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If your degree is not in a relevant subject, you could take a postgraduate conversion course. See the RICS website for a list of accredited degree and postgraduate courses.

If you are working in engineering or construction, you could take a distance learning postgraduate conversion course with the College of Estate Management (CEM). Visit the CEM website for details.

Work-based route
If you have a BTEC HNC/HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician with a company and take further qualifications to fully qualify. See the Technical Surveyor job profile.

Visit the RICS website to find out more about surveying careers and recognised qualifications.


Once you have your degree or postgraduate qualification and are in relevant employment, you can work towards becoming a chartered surveyor by completing an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). For this you will need to:

  • complete at least two years' practical training and experience
  • pass a practical assessment and interview.

If you successfully completed an accredited industrial training year as part of your degree course, this will count towards the two-year requirement.

As a RICS member you would be expected to complete a certain amount of continuing professional development (CPD) each year. This can include online study. Contact RICS for details.

You can also qualify as a chartered surveyor through the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) there are various routes depending on your qualifications and experience. See the CIOB website for details.


In the public sector, you could work for regional development agencies, local authorities, hospital trusts, universities and central government departments.

In private practice, you could work in either the commercial or residential property sectors. In the commercial sector employers include large surveying practices, house building companies and property developers. In the residential sector, you could work for large national chains of estate agents, or major regional firms.

As a qualified surveyor, you could move into a specialist area such as auctioning of land, property or plant and machinery, or valuation and auctioning of fine arts and antiques. You could also complete assessment or training to be a Home Inspector or Domestic or Commercial Energy Assessor. See the relevant profiles for details.

You may find the following links useful for job vacancies and general reading (links open in new window):

RICS recruit
Property Week

We do not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.

Annual Income

  • Starting salaries can be from 19,000 to 25,000 a year.
  • With experience this can rise to between 30,000 and 40,000.
  • Senior staff can earn around 50,000.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your career options with a learning advisor at the Careers Advice Service advice line, call 0800 100 900 or use our online enquiry form.


Email Address



Submit CV