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Surveyor Salary in the UK

A career in the surveying industry is never boring but always varied and rewarding. Being a combination of fieldwork and office work, surveying implies interacting with diverse teams of professionals such as architects, engineers, developers, construction workers, and others. It’s also a constant change of setting: today it’s an urban area and tomorrow – a wild mountainous landscape.
If this professional path seems appealing to you and you’d like to learn more about it, you’re in the right place. In our article, we describe the core duties of a surveyor, reveal the average salary of a surveyor in the UK, and provide some ideas on how a surveyor can increase their income. Let’s waste no more time!

What is a Surveyor?

A surveyor is a professional who specialises in measuring and mapping the physical features of the Earth’s surface. Properly collected data about the land is crucial for both infrastructure development and environmental planning. With the help of special equipment, for instance, total stations, GPS, or levels, surveyors gather precise spatial information and ensure safe and sustainable land-use planning.

The Core Responsibilities of a Surveyor

The surveying industry offers a myriad of professional pathways, however, we outlined some key aspects of this profession:

  1. By accurately measuring and mapping the Earth’s surface, surveyors determine boundaries, topography, and the three-dimensional positions of points. This data is essential for all types of construction projects.
  2. Working closely with architects, engineers, and construction teams, surveyors ensure that the construction process fully adheres to design specifications and safety standards.
  3. Once the survey is finished, a surveyor has to analyse and organise the collected data for the client, usually in the form of a report or presentation.
  4. Surveyors are in charge of keeping their equipment properly calibrated and maintaining it in good working condition.
  5. Surveyors consult clients on various aspects related to land, construction, and mapping. Among those are needs assessment, project planning, or regulatory compliance.

The Variety of Roles in the Surveying Industry

The surveying industry offers a wide range of specialisations and roles to choose from. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Land Surveyor. A land surveyor determines distances and angles between points on land and then produces surveys with a description of the surface features.
  • Building Surveyor. A building surveyor inspects and assesses existing buildings and then provides detailed reports on the condition, defects, and possible renovation solutions.
  • Quantity Surveyor. A quantity surveyor is also known as a cost consultant as they are in charge of wisely managing the financial side of construction projects and keeping them within budget.
  • Geomatics Surveyor. With the help of advanced technologies such as GPS or GIS, geomatics surveyors collect and analyse spatial data. The results of such analysis are used in mapping, cartography, urban planning, environmental management, and more.
  • Hydrographic Surveyor. A hydrographic surveyor uses specialized equipment to survey the underwater world. They measure depths, map coastlines, and help with port development and environmental monitoring.
  • Mining Surveyor. When there is a need to measure or map mining sites, a mining surveyor comes into play. They also deal with determining boundaries and monitoring excavation volumes and are responsible for providing data for mine planning and safety.
  • Environmental Surveyor. Environmental surveyors monitor and assess how human activities affect the environment. They are involved in such activities as land-use planning or tracking changes in vegetation and ecosystems.
  • Valuation Surveyor. A valuation surveyor, also known as a commercial or residential surveyor, is a specialist who, based on market trends, property conditions, and locations, assesses the value of properties for various purposes. Whether it’s residential, industrial, or commercial property sector, valuation surveyors advise on investment, management, and development tactics and also organise and carry out property sale or rent deals.

The Average Salary Range of a Surveyor in the UK

As with any other profession, the amount of money a surveyor can make depends on several factors. One of those is having professional qualifications. Let’s take a close peek at it.

Salaries for a graduate property surveyor

Newly qualified surveyors or graduate surveyors are normally offered between £20,000 and £30,000 per year, depending on the company, specialisation, and location. Achieving the chartered surveyor status drastically improves one’s chances for faster employability and better remuneration. One can gain chartered status either with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Chartered surveyor salaries

We could say that by obtaining professional qualifications with RICS you can feed two birds with one scone, but actually, it’s more than just two. Besides enhanced employment opportunities within the UK, a chartered surveyor gets global recognition, endless networking opportunities, and continual learning opportunities. Having so many tools at your fingertips and using them properly guarantees career progression and great salary prospects. According to RICS, salaries of surveyors with the RICS-accredited degree stand at:

  • £23,000 for a newly qualified graduate surveyor with the letters MRICS or Member;
  • Circa £45,000 for associate members of RICS (AssocRICS);
  • Reach six figures for an experienced senior role, with the letters FRICS or Fellow.

Last but not least, a qualified surveyor earns on average £16,000 more than their non-RICS counterparts.

Influencing Factors on Surveyor Salaries

Besides qualifications, a surveyor’s salary may also depend on how much experience they have, what area of surveying they specialise in, and where exactly in the UK they are looking for surveying jobs.

Experience and expertise

According to GOV.UK, an experienced surveyor in the UK may well make £50,000 and more. When we say “experienced”, it can imply two options:

  • A non-chartered surveyor who has worked a decent number of years in the industry and has practically proved their professional competence;
  • A chartered surveyor who is automatically experienced and reliable due to the specifics of the training process they have to go through before earning the chartered status (at least three years of training course, then a minimum of two years of in-work competence training, and, finally, a professional entrance interview).

We can’t argue which option is better. The only thing we can recommend before starting business relations with a surveyor is to fully ensure that their competence is legit.

Geographic location within the UK

If comparing annual surveyor salaries by region across the UK, one can find the best salary prospects in London, West Midlands, and North West: £45,985 in London, £41,264 in Birmingham, and £42,011 in Manchester. In East Midlands and Yorkshire, one can find jobs promising £39,000-£40,000 per year (for example, in Nottingham and Leeds). In Cardiff, the surveyor’s salary currently stands at £44,228, whereas in Edinburgh only £39,145, according to the latest data on online job boards.

Industry-specific demands

When checking salary prospects in the surveying industry, one should also take into account the specialisation. As we’ve described before, there is a wide range of roles to choose from. Not only do they have different specifics, but also offer different salaries. For instance, a Land Surveyor may count on £31,811 per year, a Property Management Surveyor – £40,295 per year, while a Quantity Surveyor may well expect to earn £48,622 per year, according to the latest data on online job boards.

Negotiating Your Surveyor Salary

It’s crucial to remember that successful salary negotiations involve finding a balance between your expectations, the market value, and the employer’s budget. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Do self-evaluation. Assess your qualifications, experience, and skills. Based on it, define the value you can bring to a company. This will help you justify your salary expectations during the interview.
  • Do the market research. Check what salary standards particularly your location, field of specialisation, and level of expertise offer. This information will help you create realistic salary expectations.
  • Consider the company size. Larger companies or companies that belong to high-demand industries offer higher salaries. Don’t expect the same salaries from employers of different sizes.
  • Check the job market. If the area you specialise in experiences high demand and your skills and expertise are competitive, you may have more wiggle room on negotiating a higher salary.
  • Consider benefits. Base salary is just part of your potential income. Don’t forget to take into consideration health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, commissions, and other perks that your employer may offer in addition to your base salary.
  1. GOV.UK
  2. RICS
  3. Jooble – Surveyor salary in United Kingdom
  4. Jooble – Quantity surveyor salary in Wales
Surveyor Salary in the UK
Date: 5 December 2023
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