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Planning and development surveyor

Planning and development surveyors assess, design and manage development projects in towns, cities and rural areas.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; as customers demand

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Planning and development surveyor jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • research market data, like land and property records
  • analyse figures using computer software
  • assess whether plans are workable
  • present your recommendations to clients
  • oversee planning applications
  • raise finances from funding bodies, investment companies and development agencies
  • negotiate contracts and tenders
  • advise clients about financial and legal matters, like compulsory purchases
  • work out the likely economic, social and environmental impact of a development

Working environment

You could work at a client's business, in an office or visit sites.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You'll usually need a degree or professional qualification approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Relevant subjects include:

  • surveying
  • business studies
  • economics
  • estate management
  • land and property development

If your degree is in a different subject, you could take an accredited postgraduate qualification in surveying.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

You could take a college course and enter the profession at technician or higher technician level and then take further professional qualifications or a degree apprenticeship.

Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Construction
  • T Level in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction


Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • level 6 Chartered surveyor degree apprenticeship
  • level 4 Land referencer

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

If you have a higher national diploma or foundation degree in surveying or construction, you may be able to work as a surveying technician, and take further training on the job to qualify as a surveyor.

Other routes

You could get a postgraduate qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a planning and development surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

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With experience, you could be promoted to project or senior management roles, go into partnership in private practice, or become self-employed as a consultant.

You could also move into other areas of surveying or town planning.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of geography
  • analytical thinking skills
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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