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Technical Surveyor

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

Technical Surveyor

The Work

Technical surveyors (also known as surveying technicians) carry out a range of tasks to support chartered surveyors, architects and engineers. They work across all branches of surveying, including building, land, planning, quantity, general practice and minerals.

As a technical surveyor, your duties would vary according to your area of work, but could include:

  • draughting plans, using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • estimating and drawing up project costs
  • gathering and analysing data as the basis for plans and reports
  • assisting with environmental impact assessments
  • surveying buildings or mapping land use, using precision measuring instruments
  • valuing land, property and machinery for purchase, sale, taxation and insurance purposes
  • organising the sale of assets by auction
  • supervising construction operatives on site
  • scheduling workloads and monitoring the progress of projects.

Some of your work would involve administrative duties, for instance writing reports for managers and clients, and helping to put together contracts, tenders and bids.

Hours and Environment

Your normal working hours would be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, earlier starts, late finishes and weekend working may be needed, depending on the project.

Your time would be split between office and on-site work.

Skills and Interests

  • good problem-solving skills
  • an aptitude for maths
  • good IT skills, especially for CAD work
  • a methodical approach to work
  • the ability to organise your own workload
  • an understanding of Building Regulations and other relevant legislation
  • good communication and negotiating skills
  • good technical ability.


There are various routes to becoming a technical surveyor.

You could find an apprenticeship with a surveying practice or construction firm. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information on Apprenticeships, visit

Alternatively, you could take a college course, to learn some of the skills needed for the job. Relevant courses include the BTEC National Certificate/Diploma in Construction and the National Certificate/Diploma in Civil Engineering.

You could also consider higher level qualifications, such as a BTEC HNC/HND in Construction, and foundation degrees in surveying, construction or civil engineering.

To search for foundation degrees, HNDs and degrees see the UCAS website.

The Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT) offers annual surveying traineeships with ongoing support for suitable applicants. See the CSTT website for more details.

For more details about surveying as a career, see the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.


Once you are working, you could take further training to improve your career prospects. Several NVQs are available, relating to the different surveying branches, including:

  • Surveying, Property and Maintenance Level 3
  • Construction Contracting Operations levels 3 and 4
  • Quantity Surveying Practice Level 4
  • Spatial Data Management levels 3 and 4
  • Built Environment Development and Control levels 3 and 4.

If you are working in surveying with a minimum of a BTEC HNC/HND or equivalent qualification, you may be able to register for the Assessment of Technical Competence (ATC) scheme administered by RICS. The scheme normally takes at least two years, with an interim assessment at 12 months, and leads to Technical Surveyor (TechRICS) status. Contact RICS for details.

The College of Estate Management (CEM) offers a range of surveying qualifications at various levels through distance learning. Some courses require you to have a relevant work placement. See the CEM website for details.


You can find jobs with central and local government, construction firms and surveying companies. Financial institutions, auction houses, and antique and art dealerships also employ technical surveyors.

Your progression options include self-employment as a consultant, or going into partnership with a chartered surveyor. You could move into managerial roles, or related jobs like town planner or wayleave officer, where you would negotiate land purchase and access arrangements for utility companies.

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

RICS Recruit

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Annual Income

  • Starting salaries can be between 15,000 and 17,000 a year.
  • Experienced staff can earn up to 30,000.
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.


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