Surveyors measure, value, manage and protect the world’s physical and natural environments – from city skyscrapers to sporting stadiums, forests to festival sites, shopping centres to the homes we live in.
Surveyors are responsible for entire projects from overseeing planning, design and construction, right through to occupation, sustainable usage and even demolition and redevelopment.
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With up to 70% of the world's wealth in land and property, surveying is vital to sustainable investment and economic growth around the globe. As a result, surveying has huge scope with more than 100 different specialist areas across land, property, construction and infrastructure.
Environmental surveying Assessing, monitoring, and managing the development and use of both land and buildings from an environmental perspective.
Geomatics Geospatial surveyors use the latest cutting-edge technology to collect, analyse, visualise, map and manage spatial data about land and buildings – it is one of the fastest expanding global markets.
Land and resources These surveyors have a broad understanding of the entire property real estate lifecycle from land registration and mapping to management, development, remediation and re use.
Minerals and waste management Extracting minerals and managing waste requires sensitive planning from the initial prospecting stage to the ultimate restoration and after-use of each site.
Planning and development Engaging in the planning and development process to advise and promote effective land usage and management to deliver sustainable developments for where we all work and live.
Rural These surveyors enable the rural economy and environment to thrive by managing and developing all assets in the rural environment, both natural and physical.
Personal property These professionals advise clients on the valuation, care, sale, purchase, restoration and management of personal property including arts and antiques.
Commercial real estate From offices occupied by major international banks through to local shops – these surveyors get involved in buying, selling, managing and leasing business premises.
Corporate real estate With the urbanisation of corporate real estate and emergence of smart cities these surveyors contribute to organisational performance. Adding strategic value focusing on new and emerging technologies, data analysis and customer relationships.
Facilities management These surveyors support a business strategy by the total management of all services to create vibrant and productive workplaces.
Management consultancy Providing impartial professional advice, these surveyors identify and implement business solutions to real estate problems.
Property finance and investment As global capital markets become more complex, these surveyors are needed to advise on value, trading deals and funding for developers, investors and banks.
Residential These surveyors value, survey, sell, let, manage, and maintain all types of residential property.
Valuation The professional valuation of land, property and business assets is vital to both the financial and property markets. Valuation surveyors can be asked to value for a number of reasons, including for viability assessment, sales, lending, insolvency or accountancy purposes.
Valuation of businesses and intangible assets These surveyors define the value of both public and private businesses, including their machinery, securities and intangible assets.
Building control Essential for the design and construction of new and altered buildings, these surveyors cover all aspects of building regulations and legislation.
Building surveying Involved in all aspects of property and construction, these surveyors build, supervise or restore structures – this could include historic buildings, skyscrapers or home extensions.
Infrastructure Rail or road, bridges or broadband, electricity or energy – infrastructure surveyors ensure these essential projects that change people’s lives are run on time and within budget.
Project management From small building sites to vast sports arenas, these surveyors play a central role in communicating with all professionals to maximise efficiencies and drive the successful completion of projects.
Quantity surveying and construction These surveyors are involved in the financial management of construction, using their strong analytical and communication skills to get the best value.
Taxation allowance These surveyors combine the skills of quantity surveying with knowledge of construction and experience of legislation, accounting and investment.
"Following a short period of work experience at a property company, I was sure that surveying was a career I wanted to pursue. I chose to study estate management at university because it's format of a three-year sandwich course really appealed. As a chartered surveyor the work is extremely sociable. You're constantly dealing with different people and that’s certainly one of the benefits of the job."
“I read political science as an undergraduate, so the jump to surveying was seen to be an outlandish one. My political background, however, has consistently proven to be a good foundation. I opted for an RICS-accredited Masters as I was confident it would equip me with the skills and knowledge to succeed. I would recommend a career in surveying – it’s perfect for people looking for a well-rounded career.”
To achieve chartered surveyor (MRICS) status, you’ll need to demonstrate surveying knowledge gained through both education and industry experience.
Apply for surveying graduate vacancies, or start work in the field of surveying and gain 24 months hands on experience with your employer.
Complete your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) which includes a written submission, an online ethics module and a final interview assessment.
Studying a course within land, property, construction and infrastructure? Then becoming an RICS student is free and can help you excel not only in your course, but also your career.
If you want to work and go to university, you could also apply for a degree-level apprenticeship and gain a university degree, as well as working and gaining the RICS chartered surveying qualification (MRICS) – completing all three steps in one.
Watch vloggers Ali and Eve explore the surveying profession, including flying a £30,000 drone. And discover how surveyors shape the world around us.