Surveying Careers & Rewards.

Residential surveying is ideal for those fascinated by property and looking for a flexible, well paid and respected career

Embark on a professional career that’s purposeful and rewarding

Why do residential surveyors love their job? The response is often that they love looking around property and advising their client on its positive features, the things that need attention, its value, and the opportunities that exist to adapt the property to future needs.

Residential surveying is facing a skills shortage – the profession needs more surveyors to help look after and advise on the UK’s 29 million properties.

of Sava graduates found employment
within 3 months

Average basic salary of a graduate after three years of employment

of Sava graduates decided to become members of RICS

*insights from the survey of Sava graduates in January 2021 with responses from 88 graduates.

Discover the work that residential surveyors undertake

  • A condition survey is most often commissioned by a home buyer who is in the process of buying a property. The survey comprises of an inspection, report and advice on the condition of the property. It largely focuses on the property as a physical asset, although may also include environmental matters (e.g. flooding, radon); legal issues (e.g. rights of way, guarantees); and risks to occupants.

    It’s estimated that only 20% of buyers currently commission a condition survey on the property they’re thinking of buying, and therefore a substantial market exists for providing a high-quality professional service.

    Most condition surveys in England and Wales are undertaken by RICS members. The RICS HomeBuyer Survey is the most common type and is a level 2 survey as defined by the RICS Home Survey Standards.

  • A property valuation establishes the ‘market value’ of a home. This is how much a buyer would be happy to pay, assuming that they are willing to pay the current market rate and do not have any pressure to buy. At the same time, it reflects the amount that a property seller would be willing to accept after their home has been on the market for a reasonable period, provided that they are neither over-eager nor reluctant to sell.

    Mortgage lenders commission valuations to make sure that the loan they are making is secure. All UK mortgage lenders require that their valuations are undertaken by RICS members, working to strict RICS standards.

    Other valuations that RICS members undertake are for help to buy and shared ownership purchases, right to buys, tax and reinstatement costs.

  • Residential property can be complex and there is opportunity for residential surveyors to provide specialist advice to clients. Just some of the specialisms that fall outside of the scope of a standard condition survey include: renovating listed buildings, or those in conservation areas; low carbon retrofit; party wall surveys; surveys and advice for properties built from non-standard construction; external wall system (EWS) surveys to evaluate fire risk in blocks of flats and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). There is also scope to specialise in more complex valuation work, for instance in non-standard construction, mixed-use developments, and the prime property market.

    Once a residential surveyor is competent and confident to undertake condition surveys and valuations on standard house types, there is almost unlimited scope to undertake assignments in more complex properties and in more technically demanding specialisms.

What are the employment opportunities?


Be part of a large corporate organisation

The corporates mostly provide valuations for secured lending that are commissioned by banks and building societies. Most corporates are now providing an increasing number of condition surveys for home buyers, including developing their own bespoke report formats to take advantage of the market opportunities in this area. Some examples of corporate employers are e.surv, Countrywide Surveying Services, Connells Survey & Valuation, Legal & General Surveying Services (LGSS) and SDL Surveying.


Work within a privately owned practice

The SMEs are mostly owner-managed and typically employ between 5 and 30 professional surveyors. They offer services to locally based clients such as home buyers, and private and social landlords, providing a full range of professional surveys. They may well undertake valuations for secured lending, acting as a subcontractor to the corporates. Some examples of SME employers are Arnold & Baldwin, Avery & Co, and Michael Holden Chartered Surveyors.

Become self-employed

Be your own boss and establish a reputation as an expert

Independent surveyors either work as sole traders or more typically through a limited company. They will have built up a reputation in their area for offering high-quality surveys, mostly directly to home buyers. They may also offer specialist surveys and advice in areas such as damp, party wall, or historical and listed properties. Typically, surveyors only become self-employed after gaining sufficient experience with an employer. A useful support organisation for self-employed surveyors is the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA).

Social landlords and other organisations

Work for other sectors that need your expertise

With transferable skills in construction, building pathology, energy, valuation and property law, residential surveyors can also find interesting and rewarding careers within building control (either local authorities or private approved inspectors), within social landlords (who manage the UK’s 5 million social rented properties), or for house builders, or specialist contractors.

  • Sava has changed the way we recruit Surveyors for the better. We are now able to employ really enthusiastic and skilled, fully qualified individuals.”

    Kate Avery
    Avery Surveyors
  • We believe that Sava qualified surveyors enrich our profession. The graduates are diverse and can bring skills and experiences from outside the industry.

    James Quinn AssocRICS
    Managing Director,
    GB Home Surveys
  • We have found that Sava prepares graduates to hit the ground running once employed. The Sava programme is invaluable in providing the next generation of surveyors.”

    Kim Allcott
    Allcott Surveyors
  • James Brook, RICS Surveyor and Valuer

    Sava offers bespoke training to the residential survey and valuation sector. This is, in my opinion, superior and prepares graduates far better for our area of work than any other traditional education courses. We have found all the Sava graduates we have interacted with to be very competent and prepared for the world of surveying.”

    James Brook, FRICS
    Managing Director,
    Novello Chartered Surveyors
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The Residential Surveying Expo

Supported by leading surveying firms and professional services, this is the largest event dedicated to residential surveying.