Steps for a Career in Property
To pursue a career in property it is best to become a chartered surveyor.
First study either a 1-year post graduate conversion degree or an undergraduate degree accredited by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The degree is followed by a period of, normally, a minimum of two years working in practice and acquiring the appropriate practical competency to practice as a qualified Chartered Surveyor with the MRICS designation. This is known as the APC (Assessment of Professional Competence). To embark upon the APC, you need to secure employment as a graduate surveyor with a company where you will (normally) be supervised by a qualified Chartered Surveyor with a structured training plan agreed by RICS. They will give you guidance on your training and day-to-day work. The objective of the APC is to ensure you are competent to practice as a chartered surveyor. The APC normally consists of a period of structured training (normally 23 months during which you must complete a minimum of 400 days relevant practical experience) and a final assessment interview.
There are a number of APC pathways open to you and you will specialise in one of them, depending on your employment. It’s therefore important that you choose well when applying for your graduate role. There are three groupings of pathways as follows:
- Built Environment
For the Property group the principal pathways include:
- Commercial Property
The work of chartered surveyors in this area covers all types of real estate used for business purposes. The principal sectors within commercial property are: retail; office; industrial and leisure. Commercial property serves a vast array of purposes supporting public and private sector businesses and services, from service industries to government to civil infrastructure. The exception is real estate related to agricultural or residential use.
- Finance and Investment
Property investment takes many forms, ranging from the traditional, direct ownership and trading of tenanted land and buildings, to contemporary capital markets where property revenues are traded as securities or indeed derivatives. Greater flexibility and availability of indirect property investment products, plus improved performance benchmarking data means that property has attracted growing interest as an investment asset class.
Property valuation is a core skill and forms part of the professional services provided by many RICS members.
- Management Consultancy
Management Consultants provide independent, impartial advice in all areas of the business and real estate lifecycle. In the main, they identify and implement business solutions to real estate problems. They are natural strategists within any organisation where real estate plays a significant part in the business.
- Residential Property Practice
Planners, developers, agents, mortgage lenders, professional advisers (such as valuers and building surveyors), private and institutional investors and property managers are just some of the key professional figures that allow the property market to operate smoothly.
- Residential Survey and Valuation
RICS members working in this area provide a vital link in the home buying process. Surveys and valuations of residential property combine property market expertise with an understanding of buildings.
- Facilities Management
Facilities management (FM) is the total management of all services that support the core business of an organisation.
- Arts and Antiques
The art and antiques market is greatly diverse. At one end are the collections in museums and in other public ownership, together with art and antiques owned by private individuals.
- Housing Management and Development
Housing management and development surveyors are spread across the world and will be required to adjust their work to the specific housing policies and processes that apply at both a national, regional and local level.
- Machinery and Business Assets
In the same way that property surveyors advise and act on property use for business purposes, machinery and business assets surveyors provide valuation and agency services for all aspects of machinery and business assets in the industrial, commercial and government sectors.
For the Built Environment group the Pathways include:
- Building Surveying
Building surveying is one of the widest areas of surveying practice. Chartered building surveyors are involved in all aspects of property and construction from supervising large mixed-use developments to planning domestic extensions. This varied workload can include everything from the conservation and restoration of historic buildings to contemporary new developments.
- Quantity surveying and Construction
Quantity surveyors are the cost managers of construction. They are initially involved with the capital expenditure phase of a building or facility, which is the feasibility, design and construction phases. Quantity surveyors work in all sectors of the construction industry worldwide.
- Project Management
Project Managers occupy a central role in the development process, driving successful completion of projects.
- Building Control
Building control surveyors ensure that that building regulations and other legislation are followed in the design and construction stages of new and altered buildings.
- Taxation Allowances
Taxation allowances surveyors combine the skills of a Quantity Surveyor with their knowledge of construction and experience of legislation, accounting and investment.
For the Land group the Pathways include:
- Planning and Development
The planning and development field is a specialist area, which impacts not only on the physical aspects of the built environment, but the social and environmental aspects as well.
Rural surveyors enable the rural economy and environment to thrive and flourish in a variety of ways by virtue of their experience and expertise across a very broad and diverse range of activities.
Every chartered surveyor must consider the environmental factors within the parameters of their profession. Environmental surveyors are specialists in all aspects of the management, monitoring and assessment of the environment in the context of real estate, land and construction.
- Minerals and Waste Management
Minerals are the raw materials needed to supply the construction and manufacturing industries and provide fuel for the world's energy requirements.
Geomatics is the science and study of spatially-related information focusing on the collection, interpretation/analysis and presentation of the natural, built, social and economic environments.