A Building Surveyor And A Trainee Building Construction Essay

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A building surveyor and a trainee building surveyor position have come up with a local business, an advert/job description needs to be drawn up for both roles. These role descriptions must show all qualification routes from school leavers to professional status for a building surveyor.


Building surveyors have a very important role in the construction process. Building surveyors have to provide professional advice (On all aspects of construction) and property in the form of a surveyors report. Building surveyors provide advice and work on the design and development of new and old buildings, form making sure an existing structure is structurally sound to making sure that a structures design will be able to withstand the buildings load. Building surveyors advice on various aspects of buildings at different stages, these would include the current state of the building, before any structural work would be carried out and after any structural work has been carried out to make sure the alterations are safe. A building surveyor would advise on any structural changes such as a replacement of a beam to make sure the new beam has been fitted correctly and to make sure the new beam can support any loads and stress it would be put under.

A building surveyor's work can range from working with buildings of historical or architectural importance, to the repairs and adaptions of multi-pound structures. Building surveyors may also be called up in court as an expert witness to give evidence about defects in buildings for clients.

A building surveyors report would include a detailed description of all the buildings easy accessible building elements, whether they would be structural or non-structural and of the construction materials. A building surveyor may also include a schedule of repairs that would need to be carried out on the building. If the building surveyor includes a schedule of repairs that would need to be carried out, it could be used as the base of quotations when preforming remedial works on the structure.

A building surveyors report would not include specialist areas such as drainage and central heating systems. For specialist areas such as the ones mentioned above there would need to be a specialist in the specific area to compile a report on the specialist subject. As these are specific subjects they would cost more than property purchase surveys.

Building surveyors would complete a report before a building has been purchased on behalf of the buyer so the buyer knows if any alterations need to be made before the sale is completed.



The client is one of the main people for the building surveyor to talk to about the state of the building, weather it is in good condition or bad. The building surveyor is employed by the client to carry out a structural survey on the building to find any defects. The building surveyor will keep the client up to date with any work that would need to be carried out.


The architect is the person that is trained in the design and planning process of a building and will be the person that acts on behalf of the client overseeing work being carried out. The architect will work on behalf of the client asking the building surveyor the necessary questions about the buildings structure and any work that needs to be carried out. If there are any defaults found with the building the architect would need to know to adjust the drawings.

Quantity Surveyor

The quantity surveyor is the person that is in charge of all the quantity's and costs of all the items that will be used in the construction process. This can range from the amount of pay the workers will get to the amount of timber that will be used on the job for example. The building surveyor will talk with the quantity surveyor to see how much the whole job would cost and quote how much the work will cost that the building surveyor has pointed out.

If a building surveyor has deemed a part of the buildings structure unsafe, such as a load supporting beam, the quantity surveyor would calculate the exact costs of replacing the beam. A quantity surveyor would talk with the building surveyor to see what beam would be needed for the supporting load and would then calculate the cost of the new beam, fixtures and fitters, the quantity surveyor would then report back to the client with these costs.

Structural engineer

The structural engineer is the person that will look at the architect's drawings and talk with the building surveyor to make sure that the structure will be able to carry any loads and features that will be added to the building. If there are any problems brought up by the building surveyor, the structural engineer will be the person to adjust the building in any way that is needed.

The structural engineer would listen to the building surveyors findings and would tell the building surveyor what structural elements would be altered to make the building structurally safe. If the building surveyor has found a defect with a supporting wall he would talk with the structural surveyor to find out what exactly would be needed to make the supporting wall safe to support the load bearings. After the structural engineer has worked out how to make the supporting wall safe the building surveyor would be informed to tell the client and quantity surveyor what should be done to make the supporting wall safe.

Main contractor

The main contractor is the person in charge for the construction on site and employing the specialist sub-contractors to carry out any work that will be needed on site. The main contractor will talk with the building surveyor to find out any work that will be needed to be carried out.

After the building surveyor has surveyed the building and has decided what work is needed to be carried out to make the building safe, he/she would contact a main contractor to carry out the work needed. Once the main contractor knows what work need to be completed the process of gathering materials and using specialist sub-contractors can be started. For example if the building surveyor has told the main contractor that there needs to be brick work carried out and windows need to be fitted, the main contractor would then set a team of bricklayers that work under him to complete the brickwork and the main contractor would find specialist sub-contractors to fit windows in the building.


To become a building surveyor you would need an accredited degree with a professional body such as The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Association of Building Engineers (ABE) and the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) also offer the qualifications required.

The minimum requirements for school leavers between the ages of 16-24 is four GCSE's A*-C grade or a qualification that gives knowledge into the construction industry.

As a school leaver you can go to a college and do a national award in construction, once you have finished that course which is a yearlong you can then go onto a higher award in construction. Once you have the award and higher award in construction you can then go to university and do a construction degree. This is a common way to become a building surveyor.

(Table from http://www.keyroutes.org.uk/)

The table above shows clearly how a student can start a career as a building surveyor. The route lined in red is the on-site leaning and assessment route, the green lined route is the vocational learning and the blue lined route is the traditional route.

Red Route - After completing GCSE's in school and achieving grades D-G a student can then join a company and work on site gaining knowledge and then completing assessments to gain a NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 level in building surveying. Once the student has both NVQ 2 and 3 level awards the student would then complete the HND/HNC through the company and working with the company at the same time, this is commonly a day release scheme (on site 3 days in a place of study 2 days a week). Once the student has HND/HNC awards they can then go onto completing a honours degree and postgraduate course through the company. At the end of this the student will be a fully trained building surveyor. This route is perfect for students that are not good academically as there is minimal academic study on this route.

Green Route- After completing GCSE's in school and achieving grades A*-C the student would then go to a college and complete a college course that would award them a BTEC National award. Once the student has achieved the BTEC National award they can then go onto completing a foundation degree, Honours degree and ultimately a Master's degree. After completing this route the student will be a fully qualified building surveyor. This route is good for students that can work well academically but can also gain onsite experience at the same time.

Blue Route- After completing GCSE's in school and achieving grades A*-C the student would then either stay in the school or go to a college to complete AS/A levels in the required course. After achieving AS/A levels the student can the go straight on to studying a Honours degree and ultimately a Master's degree. After completing this route the student will be a fully qualified building surveyor. This is a great route if the student is very academic as there is not much on site experience on this route. This is the quickest way for a student to become qualified as a building surveyor.


This is a typical job description


As a main part of a company they will be looking for a talented Building Surveyor that can lead a team. The following things would be necessary for a position as a building surveyor:

Experience in building surveying that is recognised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or other awarding bodies- A building surveyor must hold a qualification and experience that is recognised by the RICS or other awarding bodies to show that they are fully qualified to do the job offered.

Experience of managing teams of people- A building surveyor must be able to lead a team of people under there management, taking all ideas and suggestions into consideration and being able to tell a team of people to carry out a task with ease.

Strong customer relation experience and the ability to focus on clients and advise clients on cost effective solutions- Building surveyors would need to be able to talk on a one to one basis with clients to make sure all their needs are catered for and any opinions they have are taken into consideration. A building surveyor would also need to be able to advise a client on the best possible solutions to save the client money.

A good knowledge of business acumen and commercial awareness- A building surveyor would need to know a good thing when they see it, this is desired by companies. A building surveyor would need good knowledge of the common faults in construction and also the best aspects so the company is less likely to loose money on a bad deal.

A keen desire to acquire new contracts and work- A company would want to employ a building surveyor that either has contacts they have previously used or the desire to create more work for the company by scouting out new projects and developing connections.

Experience with computer programmes- A building surveyor would have to have a good understanding of computer programs such as Excel for inputting data, Word for writing detailed reports and PowerPoint for giving presentations.

A good working attitude- A company would be looking for a building surveyor that is dedicated to their work and has an open mind on all projects.

Salary and Hours of work

"Hours are usually 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, although extra hours may be required to meet report or project deadlines.

Average salaries fall between £18,000 and £21,000 with higher expected salaries in the London area. Chartered surveyors can earn around £32,000, plus bonuses, while company partners can expect £70,000 or more." (http://targetjobs.co.uk/)

Reference Page Date Accessed

http://targetjobs.co.uk/ 18/10/2011

http://www.keyroutes.org.uk/ 18/10/2011