Career as a Rural surveyor

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Raymond Taylor is a rural surveyor for a property firm which is based on the outskirts of Edinburgh. He carries out a number of different services, such as estate management and rural planning, for a range of clients.

What services do you provide for your clients?

I manage estates for private landowners and provide land agency services for several utilities companies. I also deal with rural planning and development, as well as providing valuations.

What does this work involve?

The estate management tasks I carry out depend on the needs of the client, but I could be dealing with the letting of farms, land and rural property, carrying out rent reviews and negotiations, or giving advice about environmental issues. My land agency work for utilities companies includes monitoring construction works and preparing and settling compensation claims for people affected by any projects. On the planning and development side, I advise clients who want to develop their properties. For example they want to change the use of their buildings or land, for which they need planning consent. I also value land and buildings for buying, selling, and rental or mortgage purposes.

What is a normal day like?

I work normal office hours, 9.00am to 5.00pm, from Monday to Friday. I am office based, but most days I go out on a site visit. This could be to an estate I manage, or I might meet those affected by a utility project, or I could see a client requiring a valuation or some development advice. When I return to the office, I carry out any work arising from the site visit such as writing a valuation report or co-ordinating property repairs.

What equipment do you need on site?

The tools I use include a measuring tape and a measuring wheel. A good pair of Wellington boots and waterproof clothing are essential.

What qualities and skills do you need?

You need a love of the outdoors and an understanding of the working rural environment. You need to be able to listen to people, and be an effective communicator. It helps if you are good at figures and can read maps.

Who do you come into contact with?

I work with a wide range of people including other surveyors, the company's directors, administration staff, estate employees, tenants, engineers, solicitors, farmers, landowners, accountants, suppliers and contractors.

What did your training involve?

After completing my degree, I did two years of on-the-job training as part of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). This concluded with an examination for which I had to give a presentation and undergo an hour-long interview with a panel of interviewers.

What do you like about this job?

The work is varied and challenging. I have to be a surveyor, a people person, and I need to have good knowledge of a range of topics such as the law, finance, farming and land use. The diversity is great; no two projects are exactly the same. I enjoy spending time outdoors and not working at a desk all day.

Do you have dislikes?

Trainee surveyor salaries are not particularly high. They get better once you qualify though!

How do you see your future?

I would like to progress my career and become a partner or director in a surveying firm so that I can contribute to making company decisions.

Raymond's route to becoming a rural surveyor

  • A levels
  • Degree in Rural Surveying
  • Gained post with current employer and became a qualified chartered surveyor.

Raymond's rural surveying tips

  • Study hard, because you will get a better degree and this can lead to a better job.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment to cope with bad weather.

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Salary of a rural surveyor

  • The average salary for assistant or probationary rural surveyors is about £17,500 a year.
  • This rises to £23,250 for surveyors with experience.
  • Senior surveyors earn an average of around £27,500 a year.
  • Partners and executives earn about £47,500.
  • Principal surveyors can earn over £80,000.

Qualifications to become a rural surveyor

  • To become a qualified rural surveyor, candidates usually need an HNC/HND, a degree or a similar qualification. An approved degree in rural planning, rural resource planning, land economy, rural enterprise and land management or rural estate management is preferred. There are options to do full and part-time courses.
  • Rural surveyors may work towards NVQ/SVQ level 4 in Property Management or Valuation, or towards chartered status. It is necessary to gain further practical experience before gaining chartered status. This involves a minimum of two years' structures learning, in employment, leading to a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Assessment of Professional Competence.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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