Graduate Careers Advice

Graduate Property And Land Surveying Careers

James Thornhill

Do you ever look at something - a piece of wood, bit of cloth, an empty room, something your mum or dad is getting rid of - and immediately see what else that object or space could become? Maybe you'll think about what tools or other items you'd need to make this happen, or questions you'd need to ask to find out how to achieve what's in your mind.

People who develop and assess property see land, buildings and spaces in the same kind of way - not just as they are at that point in time, but also what else they could be.

They'll collect data that helps them consider what's already happily existing around the area as well, and consider what it would mean to if the area was used for different purposes or developed in a certain way.

If you have an interest in the environment, it will help you consider the long-term sustainability for the project you're considering as well. Structures need to have a long-term strategy. Take the Olympic Park in London as an example. Architects and builders had to consider the use of the site after the Olympics as well as during.

Companies and organisations that have an interest in property (property developers, insurance companies, banks, and even government) will either have their own employees to handle their land economy and surveying needs, or hire a consultant. This will give you some options in this career for the kind of company you want to work in, or whether you want to eventually become self-employed.

Jobs in this industry require a lot of technical knowledge as well as creative thinking. You'll need to be confident in the techniques and practices for your job, giving accurate assessments that your employers or clients can trust. You also need to be aware of the latest health and safety regulations that apply to the work you're doing. Deadlines are common, so you may need to work extra hours to accommodate them.

There are currently more than 350,000 people employed in the property and housing sector, with property negotiation and management having the largest share of the market, followed by valuing, surveying and town planning.

London is the major property market in the UK.

What Property and Land Surveying jobs could I do?

While you can get a job as an estate agent or in property sales straight out of school, you will need to get professional qualifications if you want to work as a surveyor or in construction planning.

Some entry level property, land and surveying jobs include:

  • Trainee surveyor
  • Estate agent
  • Housing officer
  • Facilities manager

As a graduate, you may want to pursue a career as a quantity surveyor or town planner. If your degree is not directly related to this area, you may need to take on postgraduate or further qualifications to get the technical skills you need for a job.*

How Much Can I Earn as a Land Surveyor? 

After leaving university, surveyors can earn £20,000-£23,000 in their first job. This can increase to over £30,000 as you become more senior. If you want to go into property development, you can earn around £50,000.

Trainee estate agents can earn up to £20,000, which can increase to over £30,000 depending on experience and the company you’re working for.

What Qualifications do I Need to be a Land Surveyor?


With a Bachelors Degree

In order to get a job in property, land or surveying you will need a related degree and possibly a postgraduate qualification too. You may also have to have a qualification which is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

You may be able to get a graduate job in property and land with the following degrees:

  • Property development
  • Landscape and country management
  • Real Estate management
  • Surveying
  • Urban studies

Many graduate employers will consider taking graduates from disciplines unrelated to property, land and surveying. However, you will need to take either a postgraduate qualification or a conversion course accredited by the RICS to move on with your career.

What Skills Do I Need to be a Land Surveyor?

Along with a keen interest in maths, you'll need the ability to understand and analyse complex data, but in a way that you can clearly communicate to your colleagues and clients. Knowing how to prioritise and multitask will keep your workload running smoothly. Good IT skills and an interest in learning the latest developments in your field are also important.

School leaver jobs in property and land revolve around excellent communication and people skills, particularly in estate agent jobs. You will need enthusiasm, confidence and excellent negotiation skills, as well as the ability to work as part of a team and on your own initiative.

If you opt to get into surveying or construction, you will also need to be able to demonstrate sound technical skills and creativity under pressure. Some good skills to show include:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Self motivation
  • Teamworking
  • Specialist knowledge and skills
  • Ability to sell

What Experience Do I Need to Get a Job in Land Surveying?

Gaining some on-the-job experience can be invaluable to career progression in the property and land surveying industry.

Graduate employers are always impressed by candidates having taken work placements and internships in the field, so this is worth considering. Contact organisations directly and ask if you can come to shadow a member of staff or do some work experience.

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