Surveyors make sure that buildings are safe and well-maintained so care can be delivered effectively.

Working life

As an NHS surveyor, you'll be responsible for managing NHS properties. In the NHS, surveyors may be known as:

  • asset managers
  • estate managers
  • property managers

The role

Your job will involve all aspects of estate and property management including

  • leases and tenancies
  • rents and service charges
  • property transactions (buying and selling)
  • legal requirements
  • organising repairs and maintenance
  • valuing property
  • project managing building and renovations

Where will I work?

You'll be based in an office or at home but may need to travel to meetings and spend a lot of time on site.

Who will I work with?

You'll work with other staff from corporate services, such as architects and finance staff and managers responsible for estates and facilities, project managers and procurement. You're likely to meet healthcare staff when you travel to NHS sites but are unlikely to have contact with patients. You also work with people outside the NHS, mainly in the construction industry.

Entry requirements 

Surveyors in the NHS have to be fully-qualified and chartered through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

To become a surveyor, you need either:


  • a degree in any subject followed by a Masters accredited by the RICS

Accredited degrees include building surveying, quantity surveying, estate management, real estate or property. Courses are three or four years full time or up to six years part time. There are also distance learning options.

To get onto a degree course, you need

  • two or three A levels along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language and maths

or alternative qualifications, including

  • BTEC or HNC
  • relevant NVQ
  • access course
  • equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

For a Masters, you need a good honours degree. However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

After university, to become fully qualified as a surveyor, you have to

  • work under supervision for two or three years
  • pass an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC)

Personal characteristics and skills needed 

A surveyor needs to

  • have an interest in buildings and property
  • be willing to travel
  • spend time working outdoors
  • work on several different projects at once
  • be able to meet deadlines
  • work with contractors and others from the construction industry

You'll also need

  • negotiating skills
  • organisational skills
  • project management skills
  • business skills

Training and development 

If you join NHS Property Services as a graduate trainee, you spend two years with different teams, working towards the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). You can then apply for chartered membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

If you join the NHS as a fully-qualified chartered surveyor, you will receive training to introduce you to the department and its systems and procedures.

Chartered surveyors have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development). The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors runs courses, conferences and seminars where engineers can update their skills and network with others.

Employers may offer short courses in particular topics such as budgeting or project management.

  • Most staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As a surveyor, ,your salary will depend on your precise role and level of responsibility. You're likely to start on AfC band 6. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at band 7 and above. 

    Surveyors in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may have some evening meetings.

    Terms and conditions will be different for surveyors working outside of the NHS.

  • You can gain experience by working on a range of projects and by taking on bigger projects.

    You could progress to become a manager, responsible for the work of a team of surveyors. You could then progress further to manage a geographical area or be responsible for particular part of the business.

  • If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. Find out more about NHS values.

    The RICS advertises vacancies on its website. NHS Property Services has details of the Graduate Trainee Scheme on it's website.

    Most NHS trusts advertise their vacancies on NHS Jobs. Some of the current vacancies are below. 

    Find a vacancy

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