Real Estate & Property
Building surveyors advise clients on laws and regulations pertaining to the safety, design and construction of new buildings.
What does a Building Surveyor do?
Building surveyors advise on, interpret and enforce laws and regulations pertaining to the safety, design and construction of new buildings. Clients can range from home owners to large commercial and industrial companies.
As a surveyor, you would usually focus on three main areas – surveying, legal work, and planning and inspection. Your work could include:
- surveying properties, identifying structural faults and making recommendations for repairs
- assessing damage for insurance purposes, for example following a fire or flooding
- establishing who is responsible for building repair costs
- advising clients on issues such as property boundary disputes
- acting as a client’s supporter or standing as an expert witness during legal proceedings
- checking properties to make sure that they meet building regulations, and fire safety and accessibility standards
- issuing compliance certificates on building completion
- dealing with planning applications and with improvement or conservation grants.
Depending on the size of the company, you may cover all of these tasks or you might specialise in just one.
Other duties may include supervising a surveying team made up of assistants and technicians.
Key skills and interests
To become a building surveyor, you would need:
- good problem-solving skills
- excellent STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, maths)
- a high degree of accuracy
- the ability to interpret data
- strong communication, negotiation and presentation skills
- the ability to prioritise and plan effectively.
Working hours and conditions
You would normally work standard hours during the week, Monday to Friday.
Your time would be split between office and site work. Some contracts may involve spending periods of time away from home. A drivers’ licence may be required.
Site work would take place in all weather conditions, and you may have to work at heights and on dangerous structures.
How to become an Building Surveyor?
Entry Level Education
To become a building surveyor you usually have to complete a VET qualification in building surveying. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.
Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a degree in building surveying, construction management, civil engineering or architecture. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
English, mathematics and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
All construction industry workers must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
You may also need to be accredited by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors or the Building Professionals Board. There are different levels of accreditation based on levels of qualification, which determine the kind of work you can perform. Contact these organisations for more information.
Employment of surveyors is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Employment growth will mostly result from increased construction activity.