Women are changing the surveying stereotype.

Original Article
January 5th, 2023


Surveying is traditionally a male-dominated profession, and women who have worked in the profession for many years report that at best, their gender has held them back and at worst, they have experienced prejudice and even misogyny.

However, times are changing. In 2014 Louise Brooke-Smith became the first female President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), closely followed by Amanda Clack, who in 2017 became the longest-serving RICS President in 123 years. But did you know that the first female Chartered Surveyor was a woman called Irene Barclay who qualified in 1922 and was in practice for over 50 years?

There is still some way to go for women to have parity in the profession, but in 2019, RICS reported:

More and more women are qualifying into the surveying profession, with the number [for 2019]) currently at 31% – demonstrating that the continued focus on improving gender diversity is carrying weight.”

At Sava, we strongly believe in equal opportunities, and we know that women make just as excellent surveyors as men. Indeed, last year, the Young Surveyor of the Year 2022 in the Residential Category was a woman, Zoe Baker (a graduate of the Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation).

To be a great surveyor you need an eye for detail, a methodological mind and a passion for property – gender is irrelevant. As a training provider, we are proud to be able to help people achieve their goals and start a new career in the profession. Women have every right to be a part of this fulfilling and respected profession and we would like to encourage more women to consider a career in surveying.

In our last training intake of 2022, 42% of the class were women. This was fantastic to see, and we hope this continues in 2023.

The life of a surveyor

No two days are the same in the life of a surveyor. Each property surveyed will bring something new and surveyors who have been in the job for many years will tell you that they are still learning. The surveying community is also very supportive and it’s common for surveyors to ask for support and share their knowledge with each other, if not in person, then via forums and hubs. There are various avenues you can choose once qualified; you can join a corporate, join a privately owned practice, or even become self-employed and start your own practice. This degree of flexibility is what attracts many to the profession. Some choose to do a mix of surveying and valuation whilst others may focus on either surveying or valuation. The salary prospects are also very attractive; the average basic salary of a graduate after three years of employment is £61,000*

Read more about the career and rewards on our website.

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

Train to become a Residential Surveyor and Valuer

Academic degree courses are usually recognised as the route into the surveying profession, but for various reasons, degrees are not for everyone. For instance, if you have family commitments giving up work may not be financially feasible. This is why a flexible, vocational route could be an achievable way to switch to an exciting new career.

The Sava Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation offers just that. Our route to becoming a Residential Surveyor and Valuer allows you to continue to work and learn at the same time. With a mix of blended learning, it allows you to study at home, but also to gain invaluable, hands-on experience on practical training days.

The qualification is split into learning and assessment, where you will undertake comprehensive case studies on real properties to show competence. There are also two multiple-choice exams, but these can be taken at a location that works for you. Once qualified, you can apply to become AssocRICS. AssocRICS shows that you are qualified, regulated and trusted, and provides a stepping-stone to full chartered status (MRICS).

Hear from others who joined the industry

Zoe Baker (RICS Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 2022 category winner) was a Sava graduate and qualified through Sava’s Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation. We asked Zoe what made her choose a career in residential surveying and she said: “I’m not afraid to say I fell in love with the residential surveying sector and I knew this because I just wanted to learn all the time every day.”

I purchased a property in my early 20s and was intrigued by the process. I looked into all options within the property industry and the role of a surveyor stuck out to me the most. It has given me the opportunity to be that direct professional link between the purchasers of a property and the sometimes confusing technical elements not only of the property itself but of the whole home buying process.”

Rebecca Brydon is a Sava graduate who joined the Diploma in Residential Surveying Valuation as an estate agent. When we asked Rebecca what made her consider a career in residential surveying, she said: “I enjoyed working in property but hated being an agent and didn’t enjoy the emotional rollercoaster of it – or the sales calls. I wanted a career that was more professional and respected. I have a history of building/electrician/plumbing in my family, and it felt like it was my calling in life to be a surveyor. I initially thought I would want to do primarily valuation work, but once I got into the Sava course, I realised that I loved building pathology much more and now valuation is the least favourite part of my job.”

If you would like to find out more about the surveying profession or our qualifications, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us:

T: 01908 442158
E: hello@sava.co.uk

Or find out more on our website.