How to become a Building Surveyor

Building Surveyor

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

Personal requirements for a Building Surveyor

  • Enjoy technical work
  • Good communication skills
  • Management and leadership skills
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Strong English and written skills
  • Able to negotiate
  • Very organised.

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. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

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.

Duties & Tasks of a Building Surveyor

Building surveyors:

  • 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.


  • Inspects plumbing, electrical and other systems to verify alignment level, structure elevation and ensure that they meet the necessary code/specifications.
  • Monitors construction sites periodically to ensure overall compliance.
  • Uses survey instruments, metering devices, and test equipment to perform inspections.
  • Provides written documentation of findings from inspections.
  • Approves building plans that are satisfactory and issues building permits.
  • Certifies structure and plan compliance with the corresponding building regulations.
  • Reviews and provides advice on plans to ensure they meet building codes, local ordinances, zoning regulations and contract specifications.
  • Issues violation notices and stop-work orders until building work is compliant.

Working conditions for a Building Surveyor

Building surveyors usually work outside on construction sites, but can also work in teams within offices to help advise customers about their building plans.

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.


Building Surveyor

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

  • Average age
    Average age
    47 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    10% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    44 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    High skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    85% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    5,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.4%
    NSW: 32.1%
    NT: 1.1%
    QLD: 19.7%
    SA: 5.2%
    TAS: 2.1%
    VIC: 27.1%
    WA: 11.4%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.2%
    20-24: 3.4%
    25-34: 18.1%
    35-44: 22.7%
    45-54: 25.3%
    55-59: 12.6%
    60-64: 10.4%
    65 and Over: 7.3%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 30.6%
    Bachelor degree: 22.3%
    Certificate III/IV: 26.5%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 10.9%
    Year 10 and below: 2.8%
    Year 11: 1.3%
    Year 12: 5.7%
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