How to become a Chartered Surveyor
There are many rewarding career opportunities in the property industry and qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor is one of them. Chartered Surveyors are involved in many exciting aspects of property and real estate, from buying, selling and leasing commercial property to valuing commercial and residential property and land, managing property portfolios and consulting on development and planning. Chartered Surveying is a highly respected profession, similar to medicine or law, because of the amount of studying and training needed to qualify. However, becoming a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) member can open up a host of career opportunities in the property industry. Read on to find out if a career as a Chartered Surveyor is for you and what you need to do to become one…
What skills do I need to be a Chartered Surveyor?
To make a good Chartered Surveyor, you’ll need strong English, maths and communication skills. Meeting a variety of people in different job roles comes with the territory. You’ll need to enjoy travelling to and working in various locations, some of which may be less glamourous than others. Being able to negotiate, form good business relationships and present information clearly are also essential skills. You’ll also need to be able to present your views and arguments persuasively. But perhaps the most important skills a Chartered Surveyor must possess are curiosity and a keen eye for detail. Identifying potential problems or hidden issues in the property you are inspecting and digging deeper into the causes is a crucial skill.
Is there a difference between a surveyor and a Chartered Surveyor?
There’s a big difference between surveyors and Chartered Surveyors. In the UK, anyone can operate as a surveyor. Although many surveyors work for reputable businesses, they don’t need any formal training, experience or supervision. On the other hand, Chartered Surveyors must have recognised qualifications and experience and undergo regular training, personal development and assessments. To become a Chartered Surveyor, you must pass the professional exams set by the RICS. RICS is the surveying industry’s professional trade body. It has a strict code of conduct and holds all its registered members to a set of professional standards that govern the service they provide. Only members and fellows of RICS are allowed to call themselves Chartered Surveyors and trade as one accordingly.
How do I train and qualify as a Chartered Surveyor?
If you’re interested in a career as a Chartered Surveyor, you’ll need to undergo rigorous studying, training and assessment before you can qualify. You can go down several routes to gain the skills, qualifications, and experience necessary to become a Chartered Surveyor. Once qualified, you’ll become a member of RICS and be able to access continuous learning, development and networking opportunities to enable you to evolve your knowledge and keep ahead of trends and changes in the property market and the latest best practices.
The most popular route into Chartered Surveying is studying for a RICS-accredited degree, followed by the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).
The APC is a structured work-based training placement, over a minimum two-year period, that ensures you are competent to practice and maintain RICS’ professional standards. If you graduated without a RICS-accredited degree, you could undertake a post-graduate RICS-accredited degree for one year before embarking on your APC. If you are a property professional with a relevant degree and at least five years’ post-degree experience, you can still achieve RICS membership within 12 months through a fast-tracked version of the APC.
The SAVA School of Surveying, meanwhile, also offers a pathway into residential surveying. Its Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation is a Level 6 qualification giving those without a relevant degree the opportunity to join the profession. The diploma is overseen by the Awarding Body for the Built Environment and has been approved for direct entry into RICS, meaning you can join as an Associate member and start earning a living as a surveyor, undertaking RICS Homebuyer Reports, valuations and other condition surveys. And if you’re still at school or college but are interested in a career in Chartered Surveying, many firms offer graduate placements or apprenticeship schemes to enable candidates to work towards their APC without having to go to university.
What can a Chartered Surveyor earn?
Chartered Surveying can be an extremely rewarding career, both financially and in terms of job satisfaction. While earning potential can vary and depends upon experience, skills, location and specialisms, the current UK average salaries for Chartered Surveyors are:
Graduate – £25,000
Surveyor – £32,000
Associate – £45,000
Director – £60,000+
Interested in developing a career as a Chartered Surveyor?
At GB Home Surveys, we’re always on the lookout for talented and enthusiastic surveyors to join our growing team. So, whether you’re at the start of your surveying journey or looking to take the next step in your career, we’d love to hear from you. As one of the UK’s leading independent chartered surveyors, we’ve provided trusted services for almost 30 years. If you’re interested in finding out more, send your CV and a covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be in touch for an informal chat.