Surveyer career info

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David Taylor manages building construction projects for the Bank of Ireland. His area of responsibility covers the northern part of the UK where the bank has about 70 buildings. The type of project can vary from a £100,000 branch refurbishment to a £5 million office fit-out.

What does as Surveyer do?

Banks are constantly improving their premises and I have to ensure that any work done meets the need of the business and is undertaken correctly. I am responsible for liaising with the various departments of the bank. This involves keeping them informed of progress and ensuring that projects are completed on time within budget and to the right quality. Our branches have to be open for business during the day so most of the work is done outside banking hours when the premises are closed for business.

What sort of projects are involved?

They can range from a small ATM (automatic teller machine) installation to larger more typical construction projects. The buildings can vary between newly constructed premises and old, listed properties with some beautiful features that add huge character to the workplace.

What was the route to your career as a surveyer?

I had a keen interest in buildings but I knew I didn't have the artistic flair needed for architecture. So I did a placement year in a private surveying practice as part of my degree during which I worked on mostly commercial and retail properties. After graduation, I continued employment with this practice and built up solid technical and professional and project management skills.

Project managers who have a building surveying background have a distinct advantage since they can understand the technical issues quite readily and are used to working to tight deadlines and commercial budgets for clients – some of whom can be very demanding.

Did you make the right choice?

As I gained more experience in the profession, I realised that the opportunities are limitless and you really can be a master of your own destiny. Construction is a global industry so you can take your skills almost anywhere in the world.

What hours do you work?

A day in the office starts at 8.30am and I try to leave by 7pm I am based in Dublin and a trip to England might mean a 5.30am start and not finish until 10 pm However, this is not normal.

What training do you receive?

My employer is very supportive of my development and allows me to choose which training I receive. They have also sent me on people management courses since I have to manage a small team of staff. I try to keep up-to-date with technical knowledge but, more importantly, the wider business issues that affect a company such as a bank.

What are the skills and qualities needed to be a surveyer?

You need to understand what motivates your client and what they really want from you. You have to be a good communicator and have initiative, enthusiasm and drive.

David's route to his career as a surveyer

  • A Levels.
  • Degree including a year's placement in surveying practice.
  • Further experience in private surveying practice.
  • Joined Bank of Ireland to manage building projects.

David's surveyer tips

  • There are a massive number of opportunities for surveyors.
  • If you show you can do something well you will very soon be given much greater responsibility.

Surveyer related jobs

  • Surveyor: chartered
  • Clerk of Works (Site manager)
  • Estate agent

Surveyer salary information

  • There are no set national salary scales for building surveyors.
  • Entrants to this work might expect a salary between £12,000 and £15,000 a year.
  • Experienced surveyors usually earn between £20,000 and £35,000 a year.

Surveyer career info

  • There are no set entry requirements for surveying but most entrants have A levels to get on a degree or diploma course approved by a professional body.
  • Entry requirements for surveying professional bodies vary considerably and those studying a relevant course or working in surveying are usually eligible to join as student members.
  • Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships may be available (in estate agency work) for young people in England (Skillseekers in Scotland).

Modified: 16 June 2013

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