Residential Surveyor

What is a Residential Surveyor?

A Residential Surveyor is a professional who specializes in assessing the value of properties, including buildings, land, and personal items, and provides advice to clients on various aspects such as sales, loans, taxation, acquisitions, and compensation claims. They play a critical role in property valuation, helping individuals, companies, and government bodies make informed decisions. In this guide, we’ll explore the role of a Residential Surveyor, how to become one, potential earnings, career prospects, and related opportunities in the United Kingdom.

What Does a Residential Surveyor Do?

Residential Surveyors have a range of responsibilities that involve property valuation and related tasks:

Property Valuation

  • Assessing the value of properties, which can include residential buildings, land, and personal assets, based on various factors like location, condition, and market trends.
  • Providing accurate and well-documented valuations that clients can use for various purposes, such as selling, renting, mortgaging, taxing, or making compensation claims.

Commercial and Industrial Property Assessment

  • Evaluating new commercial and industrial properties to determine their value and suitability for specific uses.
  • Reassessing existing properties that have undergone alterations or renovations, ensuring that their valuations remain up-to-date.


  • Creating detailed reports that document valuations and property assessments, which may be crucial for legal negotiations, insurance claims, or tax purposes.


  • In some cases, Residential Surveyors may organize and run live auctions, where they sell items they have previously valued, or they may refer these items to specialists.


  • Advising clients on how to navigate property-related decisions, including sales, purchases, taxation, and compensation claims.

Residential Surveyors play a significant role in helping clients make informed choices about their properties, ensuring that valuations are accurate and aligned with legal and market standards.

How to Become a Residential Surveyor

Becoming a Residential Surveyor involves specific qualifications, training, and professional development. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pursue a career in this field:

Entry Requirements

  • To enter this profession, you would typically need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Relevant subjects include residential surveying and valuation, building surveying, law, or real estate management.
  • Common entry requirements include holding at least two A levels or three H grades and having five GCSEs/National 5s with grades C or above (or 4 or above in England).
  • Alternatively, individuals with an HND or HNC can start as surveying technicians and progress to associate and chartered statuses with further training and experience.


  • Apprenticeships are common in this field, offering the opportunity to gain NVQs/SVQs required to become a qualified Residential Surveyor.
  • Apprenticeships typically last between 2 to 4 years and involve a combination of on-the-job training and formal instruction at a college.
  • There may be age restrictions on apprenticeship eligibility.

Professional Membership

  • Once employed in the industry, working towards gaining chartered membership of a professional body like RICS or the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) is essential.
  • Graduates of RICS-accredited degrees are required to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to gain chartered status. This process includes two years of postgraduate work experience and an interview with a panel of assessors.
  • Those without a relevant degree can consider RICS-accredited postgraduate degree or diploma courses in valuation subjects, combined with work experience and further professional qualifications.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Keeping your skills up-to-date throughout your career is crucial. The IRRV offers qualifications and training that cover valuation, legal, and taxation aspects, ensuring Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • Given the nature of the work, having a driving license is often a requirement.

Working Conditions

Residential Surveyors typically work about 35-40 hours per week, from Monday to Friday. However, depending on the project or employer, they may need to work weekends. Their work environment includes both office-based tasks, such as planning site visits and organizing jobs, and practical work on-site.

Frequent property inspections and client meetings necessitate local travel, making a driving license highly recommended. Additionally, protective clothing and equipment may be required for certain visits to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.

Residential Surveyor Salary

The salary of a Residential Surveyor can vary based on factors such as experience, qualifications, and location. Here’s a general salary range for these professionals:

  • Trainees can earn approximately £20,000 to £26,000 per year.
  • Experienced Residential Surveyors can expect salaries ranging from £27,000 to £35,000 per year.
  • Those with chartered status can earn in excess of £45,000 annually.
  • Freelance Residential Surveyors often negotiate their own wages.

Career Prospects and Progression

Residential Surveyors have a wide range of career opportunities and avenues for professional growth:

  • Opportunities in estate agencies involve valuing properties for sale, rental, or mortgage purposes.
  • The Valuation Office Agency employs surveyors to assess properties for local authorities and government departments.
  • HM Revenue & Customs requires valuers to assess property and land for taxation purposes during sales or purchases.
  • With sufficient experience, Residential Surveyors can progress to roles such as project managers, company partners, or freelance consultants.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Working as a Residential Surveyor comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:


  • The job offers diversity and interest, often combining valuation work with other areas like estate management, surveying, and auctioning.
  • Property and land valuations may become part of compensation claims, involving complex but engaging legal processes.


  • Property viewings and auctions may take place in the evenings and on weekends, requiring flexibility in working hours.

Related Opportunities

If you’re interested in the real estate and property industry, you might explore related career opportunities:

  • Insurance Risk Surveyor: Specializing in assessing and managing risks related to property and assets.
  • Land and Property Valuer and Auctioneer: Combining property valuation with auctioning and related services.

Further Information

For additional resources and information on pursuing a career as a Residential Surveyor, you can visit the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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