What salary can a graduate property surveyor expect?
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: JLL has confirmed to TARGETjobs that it is paying upwards of £23,000 and the starting salary at Goldcrest Land Ltd, a property development company, is £33,000. Dexters, an estate agent rather than a property surveying firm, has confirmed to TARGETjobs that it is paying £28,000–£30,000 for its graduate scheme.
Graduates in the UK typically earn slightly more in London than they do outside of the capital. However, living costs in London are much higher than in the rest of the UK.
- More details on the differences in salary between graduate surveyors working in London and in the regions can be found here.
The 2018 annual survey report from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE, formerly known as AGR) reports that the median staring salary for graduates working in the built environment is £27,100. However, please keep in mind that this figure may not be entirely representative of what you can expect. As the data used to calculate this median figure included salaries from property, building and quantity surveyors and was from a small, self-selected sample from within the ISE's 200 members.
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). In previous years, Montagu Evans LLP has been unusual in revealing exactly how much the firm gives you on qualifying: the salary increased to £32,500. NPS Group also gave an indication of its salaries after qualification, saying it paid £20,000–£30,000.
The annual RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards & Attitudes Survey 2018 has found that, from 6905 respondents from a range of experience levels, the average salary for property professionals was £58,633. The survey also found that qualification with the RICS led to a 21% higher base salary and that the higher the level of RICS professional qualification a professional has, the higher their salary. Keep in mind, however, that this trend may, in large part, be due to the increase in experience and responsibilities of the individuals surveyed, rather than purely as a result of the level of membership.
The survey found that on average a professional without RICS qualification earns £48,472, an AssocRICS earns £49,293, a MRICS earns £59,661 and a FRICS earns £79,568.
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; Dexters also offers birthdays as extra holiday)
- season ticket loan (offered by firms such as JLL among others)
- childcare vouchers (offered by firms such as Savills 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 Knight Frank among others)
- private healthcare (offered by firms such as Cushman & Wakefield among others)
- sports and social events (offered by firms such as Grosvenor among others)
- retail vouchers/discount (offered by firms such as GVA among others)
- gym membership/subsidy (offered by firms such as BNP Paribas Real Estate 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 . 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.)