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Planning and development surveyor

Planning and development surveyors assess, design and manage development projects in towns, cities and rural areas.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £21,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • business studies
  • economics
  • estate management
  • land and property development

If you’ve a non-accredited degree, you’ll need to take a RICS accredited postgraduate course in surveying. You could do this through an employer's graduate traineeship, or with full-time study.

If you’re working in property or construction, you could take a distance learning postgraduate conversion course with the University College of Estate Management

If you’ve an HNC, HND or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you could work as a surveying technician and take further training to fully qualify as a surveyor.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication, negotiation and presentation skills
  • STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • research and IT skills
  • budget awareness and financial skills
  • networking skills
  • report writing skills

3. What you'll do

Your work may involve:

  • regenerating run-down estates
  • redeveloping former industrial ('brownfield') sites
  • property conservation in rural and urban areas

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • researching market data, like land and property records
  • analysing figures using computer software
  • assessing whether plans are workable
  • presenting your recommendations to clients
  • overseeing planning applications
  • raising finances from funding bodies, investment companies and development agencies
  • negotiating contracts and tenders
  • advising clients about financial and legal matters, like compulsory purchases
  • working out the likely economic, social and environmental impact of a development

4. Salary

Starter: £21,000 to £26,000

Experienced: £27,000 to £42,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000 (senior)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work 35 to 40 hours a week. Some contracts may include early starts, late finishes and weekends in order to meet deadlines.

Your time will be split between office and site work. On some contracts you may have overnight stays.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted to project or senior management roles, go into partnership in private practice, or become self-employed as a consultant. 

You could also move into other areas of surveying or town planning.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016