How do you get a graduate job in surveying?
Surveying is a lucrative career path to get into because of its importance in the construction industry.
A graduate degree is not a necessary requirement for a career in surveying, however as with many career paths, it can help tremendously when applying for a position. The reason for this is that to be employed even in an entry level surveying position you need to be able to prove your numeracy abilities. Therefore a degree in mathematics or some scientific based discipline is a big bonus that can be the credential that gets you through the door.
What can I expect to be doing as a surveyor?
Surveying is the practice of taking geometry and applying it practically to the world where it can be used to determine land ownership boundaries and in planning construction. For this reason, surveyors can expect to spend much of their time on cleared land sites before building begins utilising much knowledge in the areas of mathematics, trigonometry, physics and occasionally even law.
Of course there are other professions that are separate strands of surveying, for example a quantity surveyor carries out the very different job of making sure that all elements of the construction project are being carried out correctly at the right cost.
Work placements, often over the summer, are always a good entry route into the surveying profession. If you know anyone who is a surveyor or even just in construction ask if they get you some work experience. Most people are willing to have someone help out and this can lead to a permanent position. Many surveyors operate on a freelance basis so it is simply a matter of gaining more experience that will allow you to land bigger, better and more well paid jobs.
As with any predominantly freelance industry, the risk with surveying is that there is no job security. You have to be constantly working and then looking for that next chunk of work. Additionally this makes the prospects even scarier as a graduate starting off in the role because you hit the usual catch-22 of needing experience to get experience.
But not all surveyors are freelance, if you can get a position in a construction firm you have full job security. Similarly, if you manage to become an apprentice of an expert surveyor you are then working for them and can rely on their backlist of working credits for your income and career progress.
The average salary of a surveyor (which includes those starting out right up to the longtime veterans) is about £45,000. However, due to the varying nature of construction projects in size and cost this figure can be a lot less or greater depending on your track record and expertise.