It’s no surprise that newly chartered surveyors are keen to ensure that all their hard work pays off – in the form of career progression, car allowance and overall remuneration.
Until recently, the post-APC review was pretty much the same at every company, and you would be likely to hear the following well-rehearsed remarks:
- “You’re a potential future partner of this business”
- “Keep doing what you’re doing”
- “Here’s an uplift of around £5k”.
This situation was widely accepted because people were happy to get what they were given.
Today, it’s fair to say that surveyors have acclimatised to a market where demand has outstripped supply. This means that people are more inclined to take their career into their own hands and challenge the status quo by asking two simple but powerful questions:
- “What am I worth?” How do I know my current employer is giving me a good deal?
- “What is the opportunity cost of staying put?” If I do stay put, what am I going to miss out on?
Weighing up short-term goals, motivations, progression, strengths, weaknesses, market trends, opportunity, risks, money, location, sector and long-term goals is a big task – especially when you consider the endless list of different routes down which your career could progress from here. These include:
- natural progression: stay put, get promoted, lead projects, advise future APC candidates, manage teams, take responsibility for clients, get promoted again, and so on
- move to another firm: change of pace, company size, sector, clients, responsibilities, size of projects, career prospects, flexibility and a fresh start
- move away from core quantity surveying in consultancy: specialise, diversify or change your discipline to project management, development, law and arbitration, management consulting or fund monitoring
- leave consultancy: work client-side with contractors or housebuilders
- relocate: either abroad or perhaps to London, which with the salary increase becomes more accessible and appealing
- freelance: set up a limited company and work on a daily rate.
And when it comes to the money there’s no exact formula where n years’ experience + MRICS = £££. But I’d suggest a rough guide to London-based, professional quantity surveying salaries for newly qualified surveyors looks as follows:
- MRICS Project Quantity Surveyor: £40k–£50k
- MRICS Senior Quantity Surveyor: £50k–£65k
- MRICS Associate Quantity Surveyor: £65k+.
Bear in mind that this is based on salary and car allowance, not including a wider package such as healthcare, pension and a personal/company performance bonus.
So it’s time to put the Black Book down and consider the big picture!