Thinking about becoming an apprentice surveyor? NotGoingToUni gives you some facts and figures to help you make up your mind.
Any major structure you can think of hasn't just been slapped together on any old bit of land. Type of construction, scale, materials that can be used, ownership and boundaries - all need to be assessed before the actual building work starts. Even if you go back into the mists of time, to the Great Pyramid of Gaza for example, you can find a testament not just to the skills of the builders, but also to the surveyors who set up the land registry in ancient Egypt around 3000 BC, to maintain farm boundaries when the Nile River flooded the area... and who, 300 years later, were responsible for the alignment and orientation of the pyramid itself. Here in the UK, we can point to Stonehenge, surprisingly enough, as another example of early surveying work, evidence of which shows clear planning done before those stones were put exactly where they were supposed to go.
A profession in demand
Whilst the desire for grand stone pyramids has died out, the desire to build rages on, and thus, there will always be a need for surveyors - all around the world. So it's a profession in demand and finding work when qualified is not difficult.
It is a complex profession though. You will need to be interested in buildings and landscape (what goes on, in and around it), you will need a good head for algebra, calculus, geometry and trigonometry. You'll also require comprehension skills to be able to navigate through survey, property and contract law. The concepts behind surveying may have remained broadly the same over the years, but today's surveyors of course use much more sophisticated tools and are expected to go through proper training in all the subjects listed above to receive the necessary qualifications to practice their art.
Still Tempted? If so, there are various routes you could take to become a surveyor, and one of the best is undertaking a surveying apprenticeship.
What to expect during your apprenticeship in surveying?
The actual work you’d be doing during your apprenticeship depends entirely on your employer and the services they offer. For example, they could be in general practice, or they could specialise in maintenance, quantity surveying, valuation or building surveying. From day one you will start learning how to collect, analyse and present data, as well as how to assess the condition of properties and monitor their maintenance programmes. It’s also possible to be trained in cost control, providing solutions to disputes and how to operate within building regulations.
During your apprenticeship, you’d also be returning to the classroom on a regular basis, to study towards the most relevant nationally-recognised surveying qualifications for the work you’re doing now – and plan to do in the future. The RICS qualification is the main certification but there are other options.
If you go the RICS route there are two types of apprenticeship:
- 2 years for completion and results in a Level 3 Diploma in Surveying
- Become an associate member of RICS (AssocRICS)
- Entry requirements: Five GCSEs at Grade C, including maths and English or equivalent
Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship
- 5 years for completion and results in a Level 6 / degree equivalent qualification
- Opportunity to gain chartered status (MRICS)
- Entry requirements: Three A levels at Grade C or equivalent, and requires completion of a Level 3 Surveying Technician apprenticeship
There are nine core pathway options for the chartered route :
* Building Surveying
* Quantity Surveying
* Project Management
* Commercial Property
* Minerals and waste management
* Planning and development
* Residential property
Pay and prospects
Initial apprentice pay is governed by UK law and you can see the current pay-scales here. However, if you master the skills then the rewards are decent. A basic UK starting salary for a surveyor averages around £20,000, then after, as you work towards Chartered status, you can begin to command even higher salary prospects. Average salaries for employed surveyors are in the £40,000 to £55,000 region but it is also a profession that lends itself to self-employment where you can build up your own practice.
After your training it's then time to specialise. Because surveying touches on every aspect of the environment - measuring, planning, valuing, protecting - there is a very large range of choices open to you, including working abroad.
Interested? Here are some further resources to help you discover more about qualifications and routes into into becoming a surveyor:
- The SAVA School of Surveying - offers a Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation, a vocational qualification supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
- What is a Residential Surveyor? - an explanation of the job and details on routes into the profession.
- The CSTT - is a charitable organisation, founded in 1984 by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors and endorsed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Their core aim is to help deserving young people (16-24 years) transform their lives by offering a debt free and tutor supported Surveying Apprenticeship opportunity.
- RICS - the website of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
- 7 reasons to become a surveyor - the attractions of a career in surveying
Check out our Surveying apprenticeships section to find the right opportunity for you!