How to become a Building Surveyor

Building surveyors advise on, interpret and enforce laws and regulations regarding building construction and safety.

Personal requirements of a Building Surveyor

  • Enjoy technical work
  • Good communication skills
  • Management and leadership skills

Education & Training for a Building Surveyor

To become a building surveyor you usually have to complete a VET qualification in building surveying. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in building surveying, construction management, civil engineering or architecture. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics and physics are normally required. Applicants may be required to submit a folio of work and/or attend an interview. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Building Surveyor

Building surveyors may perform the following tasks:

  • provide advice and assistance to builders and owners before finalisation and lodgement of building plans to avoid potential problems
  • assess building plans submitted for approval to ensure they conform to building regulations and codes of practice
  • make recommendations on matters such as the provision of amenities for the community
  • issue building permits
  • carry out pre-purchase inspections of all types of buildings
  • inspect buildings during construction to ensure proper methods and materials are used and that they conform to building regulations
  • keep records and write reports on building progress in instances where regulations have been breached and plans have been altered
  • issue compliance certificates on completion
  • give evidence in court cases involving breaches of building regulations
  • assess the condition of existing buildings
  • audit buildings for access by disabled persons.

Employment Opportunities for a Building Surveyor

Most employment opportunities arise in local government bodies (shire, town and city councils). There are some opportunities to apply the skills acquired in this occupation to other jobs in banks and building societies, as well as in building management companies. Building surveyors may become self-employed and subcontract to major building companies.

Additional Information
All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC). To work as a building surveyor you will need to be registered with the relevant body in your state or territory. There are different levels of accreditation based on levels of qualification, which determine the kind of work you can perform.
Related careers