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How Did You Get into Surveying?

Written by: RICS Recruit
Published on: 17 Feb 2020

people in a surveying office

As one of the most varied professional careers available, surveying has an incredibly broad scope to find your perfect job.  Because we are all different, we welcome surveyors from every walk of life, and there’s more than one way into surveying, each as exciting and unique as the next.

Ian Scott MRICS, Director, Lambert Smith Hampton

I am very fortunate that I chanced across the surveying vocation early in life, it’s a great example of how some good can come out of a bad situation. Sadly, during the economic downturn one of my close relatives fell on hard times and ended up having their house repossessed.

I was in my early teens at the time, an extremely impressionable age, and I remember being very puzzled about how this could have happened to a member of my family. I was desperate to find out as much as possible about the property market and became obsessed with the financial side.

The experience clearly lit a passion within me because some years later, when it came to making applications for Uni, I started looking for property-related courses. I ended up graduating from a real estate course in 2015 and became a chartered surveyor just a year later.

One of the most rewarding things about building up expertise is the ability to share it with others. I love to coach young surveyors, especially in the tricky fields of valuation and development.


Kimberly Hepburn AssocRICS, Junior Quantity Surveyor, TfL

I was inspired to pursue a career in surveying while watching a major construction project unfold before my eyes at school. So, when I finished Sixth Form, I decided to look for a surveying discipline that would provide a long and rewarding career. My newly found interest in construction, together with my love of maths, meant that Quantity Surveying (QS) was an ideal fit.

I had a place at university to study for a maths degree, but I decided to apply for a QS apprenticeship at Transport for London (TfL) instead, sensing that it would be a better route to success for me.

I am proud that I stood fast by my decision not to follow the crowd to university and I ignored some the negative myths that still surround apprenticeships. It has proved a very affordable and satisfying way to kick-start my career. It provides hands-on learning in a challenging yet nurturing environment and enables you to obtain both academic and professional qualifications.

Ultimately, it has been a paid-for route that will leave me experienced, chartered and debt free after a five-year intensive apprenticeship programme.

This career has so much developmental potential, both in the UK and overseas, and I want to take every opportunity to share my unique journey and inspire success in other young people.


Helena Tibbitts MRICS, Associate Director, Fisher German

It seems incredible now, but I am afraid to say that when I was at school I had no idea that surveying even existed as a career.

I studied for an English degree at university, which is not an obvious route into surveying. In fact, it was a chance meeting with a partner at my now employer Fisher German that prompted me to join the company. Initially I joined as a secretary, not really knowing what to expect. But I quickly fell in love with the work and wanted to learn more and more about the art and science of valuation.

An intense period of distance learning followed, which enabled me to successfully pass both the APC and CAAV exams in the same period. Over the next few years Fisher German gave me the opportunity to prove myself and a string of promotions followed. I am now an Associate Director and deputy head of the firm's valuation service line.

I hope that my unconventional, yet ultimately successful, route into the profession will inspire others – especially those who haven’t ever considered surveying as a career.

Recruiting good quality candidates from diverse backgrounds has become incredibly important for our industry. I want to show bright youngsters, whatever their circumstances, that surveying is a vibrant and accessible career choice. 

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