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What salary can a graduate property surveyor expect?

Find out about graduate salaries and benefits, typical bonuses, how professional qualifications can increase pay and how much professional property surveyors earn.
The higher your level of RICS professional qualification, the higher your salary.

Starting salaries for graduate property surveyors

When searching for a graduate job in property, you’ll find most employers advertising ‘competitive’ pay or ‘structured’ salary packages. In effect this means a typical starting salary of £20,000 to £25,000, at least with the larger employers. The salaries do vary according to location. Graduates based in London tend to earn salaries closer to the top end of the scale, but of course have higher living costs to contend with.

Some employers have broken their silence on graduate pay: Carter Jonas has confirmed to TARGETjobs that it is paying £20,000–£27,500 and JLL is paying upwards of £23,000. Montagu Evans LLP is paying £26,500 and the starting salary at Goldcrest Land Plc, a property development company, is £33,000.

Salaries for RICS-chartered property surveyors

Graduates on internet forums have indicated that the salaries at their firms increase when you pass your APC with RICS or the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Montagu Evans LLP is unusual in revealing exactly how much the firm gives you on qualifying: the salary increases to £32,500. NPS Group also gives and indication of its salaries after qualification, saying it pays £20,000–£30,000.

The annual RICS and Macdonald Rewards & Attitudes Survey 2017 has understandably found that the higher the level of RICS professional qualification a professional has, the higher their salary. Of course, these higher salaries may be more attributable to the experience and the responsibilities of individual professionals than their level of membership. However, the survey did find that on average an FRICS earns £72,551, while their non-RICS counterpart earns on average £39,589.

The survey also found that on average an AssocRICS earns around £42,652 and an MRICS £55,644.

Some graduate employees have suggested to TARGETjobs Property that initially the most vital thing to look for when choosing a firm is whether it can give you the breadth and depth of work you need to gain chartership with RICS or RTPI, as opposed to the level of remuneration available. Once you’ve gained your professional qualifications, salary expectations arguably become more relevant.

Benefits and other incentives for property surveyors

A look at the property firms advertising graduate schemes on TARGETjobs indicates that many firms offer perks on top of salaries to reward and attract graduates. In fact, a lower salary could be bolstered by additional benefits, and sometimes these can be tailored to each individual’s preference. The most common benefits at graduate property firms include:

  • annual holiday entitlement (ranging from 23–27 days depending on the firm)
  • season ticket loan (offered by firms such as JLL among others)
  • childcare vouchers (offered by firms such as Lambert Smith Hampton among others)
  • life assurance cover (offered by firms such as BNP Paribas Real Estate among others)
  • paid study leave (offered by firms such as Savills among others)
  • cycle to work scheme – a government initiative where you save both tax and national insurance contributions on the cost of the cycle or cycle equipment (offered by firms such as Montagu Evans among others)
  • private healthcare (offered by firms such as Cushman & Wakefield among others)
  • give-as-you-earn scheme – allows you to make regular tax-effective monthly payments to one or more UK-registered charities of your choice (offered by firms such as JLL among others)
  • sports and social events (offered by firms such as Grosvenor among others)
  • retail vouchers/discount (offered by firms such as Capita Property and Infrastructure among others)
  • gym membership/subsidy (offered by firms such as NPS Group among others)
  • car allowance (offered by firms such as Goldcrest Land Plc among others)

The Rewards & Attitudes Survey also reveals that 68% of the property professionals surveyed received a work mobile, 21% received a company car and 31% received a company car allowance.

Typical bonuses for property surveyors

Some employers, including JLL and BNP Paribas Real Estate also offer performance-related bonuses. The Rewards & Attitudes Survey suggested that the average annual bonus of those starting off in the profession, in the roles of assistant or trainee, is in the region of £1,638 – although entry-level bonuses have been closer to £1,000–£2,000 in recent years. This average increased to £8,565 for those in senior roles and to £8,616 for associate or managerial roles. Partners and directors were found to receive an average annual bonus of £23,691.

It’s worth noting, however, that not all firms pay bonuses to graduates and only 45% of the professionals surveyed received a bonus.

Average salary for experienced property professionals by job role

The Rewards & Attitudes Survey found that across the UK property profession the overall average salary is roughly £52,362. The survey also examined the average salaries of different specialisms within the field. It found the following:

  • The average salary in commercial development: £72,921
  • The average salary in fund management: £97,588
  • The average salary of an industrial agent: £39,112
  • The average salary of an in-house estates surveyor: £49,810
  • The average salary of an office agent: £49,272
  • The average salary in planning: £50,177
  • The average salary in property asset management: £59,937
  • The average salary in property management: £46,388
  • The average salary in ratings: £48,825
  • The average salary of a retail agent: £48,821
  • The average salary in residential survey and valuation: £43,676
  • The average salary in residential development: £61,936
  • The average salary in valuation: £46,219

NB: The survey was completed by 8,463 UK surveying professionals – 46% of whom had over 16 years’ experience, 35% had 5–15 years’ experience and 19% had worked for fewer than four years in the industry. (Percentages may have been rounded up or down by RICS and MacDonald.)