If you’re wondering how to be a property surveyor, or how to get your RICS diploma in the UK, look no further! Property Typing is here, with all the information you need to set you on the right path.

Why would I want to become a property surveyor?

The property industry is a field offering great employment opportunities currently. This can utilise a wider range of skill sets. Career prospects are progressive, and often lucrative too. This not only means it’s a great field to consider for graduates and school leavers but also those looking for a fulfilling career change. There are entry points to obtain your RICS diploma at all training levels, as well.

The property industries are expected to grow significantly over the next decade, meaning there will be more and more jobs in the industry. Even currently, the UK property industry is larger than banking, communications, leisure and even transport, netting over £5.2 trillion a year. Property is, after all, intrinsic to our daily lives. We can’t shop, live or enjoy ourselves without using property in some manner. 

What do chartered surveyors do?

Chartered Surveyors is the title used for members and Fellows of RICS. You’ll see several permutations of the title, from ‘Chartered Building Surveyor’ to ‘Chartered Civil Engineering Surveyor’. ‘Chartered’ is a title referring to the Royal Charter RICS holds from Her Majesty. They are, in fact, the first body of professional surveyors that was ever established. Surveyors offer impartial, specialised advice on property matters to the general public. Their services are diverse but always centre around assisting on matters of property. Property valuations, as well as seeking out structural defects, remain a bread-and-butter part of the industry. On top of that, they act as expert consultants for property related issues- from construction to environmental. 

Taking the Varsity Route

If you’re young, and already know that you are interested in becoming a property survey, or if you’re ready to head back to a formal school, this is probably the easiest approach. Not just any university course will do, however. Building surveyors in the UK are governed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, known more commonly as RICS. This process can be thought of as very similar to the process of becoming a Chartered Accountant. To kick-start the process of becoming a surveyor, you’ll need to look for a degree (or other suitable professional qualification) that are approved by RICS.

RICS diplomas and qualifications are available in the following specialised fields:

  • surveying
  • construction
  • civil engineering
  • building engineering

Institutions which offer qualifying RICS diplomas are rarely shy about letting you know. You’ll likely find their RICS-approval is advertised liberally. If you have any doubts as to whether the diploma you are considering is RICS-approved, you should speak with the institution (or RICS itself) to ensure it will set you on the right path.

What sort of qualifications do these RICS diplomas need?

Entry requirements for RICS diplomas typically require 2 to 3 A levels ( as is standard for most degrees).

What if I qualified in something else and want to become a property surveyor?

If you’ve already qualified from a university in a different field, or were working on a degree in a different field but want to swap, don’t worry. RICS accredited postgraduate qualifications in surveying are also available. A degree in any subject is typically sufficient for postgraduate courses.

What if I don’t want to head back to school, or don’t have the funding?

Don’t worry if this more formal route doesn’t sound right for you. There are other alternatives to get your RICS diploma. Apprenticeships, called ‘appy-ships’ informally, are also a valid path to become a property surveyor. Just because these don’t require formal attendance at a university doesn’t mean they’re nonsense, however! You will typically need 4 or 5 GCSE, at grades 9-4 (old A* to C), and possibly A levels as well, to enrol in an apprenticeship program. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted. Apprenticeships are a very valid route to a property surveyor qualification and have the benefit of providing you with work and field experience (as well as a stipend or income) while you learn. 

What if I already work in a relevant field? 

If you happen to already have a foundation degree or higher national diploma in a related arena, you may be able to work your way to a RICS diploma. This does, of course, require that you are already working in a related field (surveying technician is a common one), and is not appropriate for recent school leavers. Effectively, you will be doing further qualifications on the job. Again, this has the distinct benefit of allowing you valuable workplace experience, and earn an income as you learn. It also allows you to more readily convert your existing skills into becoming a property surveyor.

Are there any other routes open to me?

Do none of the above options feel right for you? Don’t worry. Postgraduate qualifications for RICS diplomas are also available through certain graduate trainee schemes. You may also want to consider distance learning with the University College of Estate Management. If you believe you already hold sufficient qualifications to begin the Chartering process immediately, you can register with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. You will then be assessed through the APC scheme (Assessment of Professional Competence) and they will grant you your RICS diploma if your skills match up.

What do I do when I’m qualified?

Now it’s time to get to business. The great news is that, as you find your feet in the industry (and your first clients) there will be no need for expensive admin staffing costs. You have Property Typing for that! With our skilled team to ensure we have your back every step of the way, a huge part of the burden of establishing yourself in your new role will be gone. Simple set yourself up with your favoured dictation media, any non-admin support staff you may need, and get out there to find your new clients! We’ll handle the admin workload, and ensure you always come out ahead with fast turn-around and professional, meticulous dictation work that will help boost you to the head of the pack.
Does a RICS diploma sound like the right path for you? Now you know exactly how to become a property surveyor in the UK. The Property Typing team is looking forward to working with you in the future!