How to find work as a Graduate Building Surveyor.

As a graduate building surveyor you will often find it difficult to find work due to lack of experience.

Doesn’t mean impossible just that you often have to be more creative and do a lot more work in sourcing companies that will use your skills. Some this may also involve taking a lower salary than you had initially hoped for.

The positive side of this though is once you have your foot in the door it gets easier to get better jobs and contracts and with it your salary would increase.

What I found for myself is that there is a demand at certain levels for building surveyors. For example your local authority generally employ building surveyors for things like the void inspections and problem solving on their maintenance contracts. These roles originally were filled by semi retired guys from my experience. But as I have found over the last decade they are being opened up to general building surveyors. There is in fact a shortage of building surveyors in the maintenance industry. Everyone wants to build!

But its a stepping stone, its easy to get into the role of building surveyor for a local authority and normally working alongside a team so getting familiar with how everything works isn’t an issue. If anything its adapting to a “social” working mentality which is often a lot slower than that of the private sector. Nothing wrong with it as the salaries are below private sector pay scales but getting into the private sector without experience is a lot harder.

I have seen salaries ranging from £22,000 – £30,000 for most housing authorities but would advise going via an agency because if you work it right you can increase the income significantly. For example permanent employees work “flexi time”. You get paid for every hour done which on the average contract I worked was a 60 hour week compared to 37 1/2 hours that a permanent employee work. So you can near enough double the salary.

Adding to that using your own vehicle with millage allowance can also be beneficial to the pocket, although not as favourable as it once was. Working a contract a few years ago I hit the 10,000 mile barrier that reduces your per mile rate within a month. Not good and even at a more senior level within the company they were having staff using trains as their millage level had dropped to the point it was no longer viable to use a car. Because a train ticket is something you can claim back 100%. The rise in fuel costs and the sliding scale had meant using their own cars had got to the point it cost them money to go to work.

Before anyone says “well I have to pay to use my car to go to work!” the region I covered was Norfolk some of Suffolk and up to 90 miles away towards central England. Its not a case of throwing away £20 a week in fuel its literally £200+ going into the tank.

Anyway I recommend trying some of the agencies for work, roam around the web and advertise yourself on a lot of the online sites for jobs including uploading your CV. Because if an agent gets hold of your CV they will also shove it on other system making it easier to find work.