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Lewis & Tucker's guide to becoming a Chartered Surveyor

Chartered surveyors are highly trained property professionals and Professional Members and Fellows of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). After qualifying, chartered surveyors can use ‘MRICS’ after their name.

Chartered surveyors work in many different areas of building and property consultancy including surveying, law, planning and inspection. It is not unusual for an individual to have expertise in all areas and so companies are often established to offer comprehensive surveying services.

Duties might include:

  • Handling planning applications
  • Full building surveys
  • Acting as an expert witness in court
  • Mortgage valuations
  • Land surveying
  • Estate management
  • Homebuyers surveys
  • Inspecting buildings to make sure they meet regulations 
  • Endowing responsibility on those who need to pay building repair costs
  • Identifying structural problems with a property and making recommendations to solve them
  • Evaluating damage for insurance requirements

Academic Requirements

School leavers can choose an accredited degree course from the 500 courses all around the world. Alternatively you can do a related degree subject like geography and then follow this with an accredited postgraduate degree course.

Some companies allow graduate employees to do the postgraduate qualification while working so it is worth doing some research into this. If the postgraduate degree is relevant to your employment and training then the employer may fund the cost - or at least part of it. You can also ask your academic institution about the funding they have available.

Once you have finished your accredited degree course you can get a job as a trainee surveyor.

After completing a period of on-the-job learning and assessment with your employer for two to three years, you will complete your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) and will become chartered. An APC will show that you are trained to the highest standard and will help your career progression.

If you are finding it hard to fund the cost of university, you can also take an apprenticeship route to becoming a chartered surveyor with support from The Chartered Surveyors Training Trust.

If you choose not to go to university, you can also become a RICS qualified surveyor as an Associate. This is a highly respected qualification that takes into account any relevant work experience or vocational qualifications in the property, construction and land sectors.

When you are at university it is beneficial to organise some work experience so that you can network with surveying firms while you are studying. This can help you to gain a place as a trainee after graduating.

Another tip is to become an RICS student, which is free and will give you loads of benefits and resources.

Skill requirements

As a chartered surveyor your work will be wide-ranging. A full driving licence is usually necessary as you will often spend much of your day out and about visiting different sites. Competent IT skills are also required as you will be using software design programs.

You will also need:

  • A practical approach to problem solving
  • Accuracy in your work with attention to detail
  • The ability to understand data
  • Good spoken and written communication skills
  • The ability to manage your time, plan and prioritise
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • A logical mind
  • To work well in a team environment
  • The social skills to nurture good working relationships with clients and colleagues
  • The ability to multitask - working on a number of projects at once
  • Strong management skills
  • Confident presentation skills when reporting back findings

Chartered surveyors will also have to work well in a team environment and will need to be able to nurture good working relationships with clients and colleagues.

Getting your first job

The RICS website has a jobs board with vacancies and a listing of firms looking for new recruits and you can sign up for job email alerts. The RICS Recruit Mobile App  will also help  find roles quickly and there are  tips on how to write covering letters and your CV.

Career progression

In time you can move up to senior management or project management. You could also become a self-employed consultant, or start up your own practice.

This article is sponsored content.