Chartered surveyors in local government are responsible for the management, valuation, development and measurement of land, property and buildings.  About 8,000 are employed in local government throughout the UK.

Work Environment
Surveyors spend time on external sites but mostly work in an office writing reports, dealing with administration and preparing plans. Some travel to attend meetings is required.

Daily Activities

  • Building surveyors are responsible for maintenance, repair and improvement of all types of property owned by the council. Some building surveyors specialise in administration of public health regulations, by-laws and improvement grants.
  • Quantity surveyors control the cost of the council's construction and engineering projects - from design to completion. Each piece of work is normally put out to tender and quantity surveyors will examine these and advise the council on technical aspects of the project. They also act on behalf of the council on applying for grants or subsidies which are available for certain specific improvements.
  • Land surveyors measure and plot the positions of features on the land in order to produce maps and plans. Using precise instruments, they also work with other map-making professionals, analysing and interpreting maps and providing data and technical advice.
  • Valuation surveyors negotiate sales, purchases and leases, advising the council on the value of houses, land, offices, shops, industrial and commercial premises.
  • Planning and development surveyors specialise in all aspects of urban and rural planning, deciding on land and property use.
  • Technical surveyors work alongside chartered surveyors, preparing reports and researching information.

Skills & Interests
Surveyors need an orderly and logical mind, and ability in figure work and detail drawing. Excellent communication skills, and the ability to relate well with others (members of the public, fellow professionals, builders/contractors etc) are a must. The ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, to be self reliant and able to work outdoors are also required.

Entry Requirements
Professional training is towards corporate membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). To register as a student requires a degree, entry qualifications for which are five GCSEs (grades A-C), two of which should be at A-level or equivalent.  Graduates with a relevant accredited degree, such as in quantity surveying or estate management, follow this with a minimum of two years' structured experience.  Graduates with a non-related degree first do a one-year full-time or two-year part-time accredited postgraduate course.  Minimum entry requirements are a BTEC/SQA HNC/D in a relevant subject such as property, the built environment or construction.  Alternatively, it is possible to train as a technical surveyor - for more information on this contact the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Qualified technical surveyors can move into training for Chartered Surveyors status.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
Surveyors are widely employed throughout local government. Opportunities for specialisation are greater in larger authorities.

Further Information & Services
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Construction Skills

Careers Wales have produced a Spotlight article on careers in construction:

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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