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Placements/internships in quantity/building surveying

What types of work experience first- and second-year students get in quantity surveying and building surveying?

Work experience in quantity surveying and building surveying is usually offered in the form of summer internships (or summer placements) and placement years (or sandwich years or years-in-industry).

Placement years are usually open to applications from students in their penultimate year and take place between the penultimate and final year; summer internships are typically open to students in their penultimate year.

First years may be able to attend insight weeks and open days in order to gain some work experience. Construction employers, property developers and house builders may organise site tours for students.

Students of all years and graduates can try to organise informal placements and work shadowing (observation) with smaller, local employers.

Which employers typically offer internships and placements to quantity surveying and building surveying students?

Scroll down to see a list of employers who are currently recruiting. In general, these types of large graduate employers typically offer quantity surveying work experience:

  • construction/engineering consultancies and contractors
  • house builders
  • chartered surveying firms
  • property firms (a few vacancies)

Building surveying internships and placements are usually offered by:

  • property firms
  • chartered surveying firms
  • a few larger construction/engineering consultancies

Find out more about getting work experience with employers in the construction industry and the property profession.

What degree background do I need to get an internship or placement in surveying?

Although it is possible to get a graduate job in quantity surveying or building surveying without a relevant degree, most formal work experience opportunities are only open to those who are studying an RICS-accredited surveying degree, whether as an undergraduate or as a postgraduate on a conversion course.

Students studying a non-RICS degree may be able to find a few formal placements that will accept them, but they could also try to arrange their own informal work experience with a smaller, local employer. This can be done by tapping your network (get tips on how to create a network here) or applying to local employers speculatively (find out how to make an speculative application for work experience here).

Of course, students on quantity surveying and building surveying degree courses can seek out informal work experience opportunities, too.

What are the deadlines for surveying internships and placements?

Formal building surveying placements tend to have a defined recruitment window, typically closing between January and March. This is particularly the case for those offered by property firms

The deadlines for quantity surveying internships and placements tend to be more wide-ranging: a number of construction companies in particular might set early deadlines, such as December, and then re-open if they do not have sufficient applications. Others might not advertise a fixed deadline, but close when they have filled their opportunities.

What is the application process for formal placements?

Recruitment processes tend to be shorter than for graduate jobs, but they can still involve multiple stages (application form, phone or video interview and second interview or assessment day). Most applications and interviews will be aimed at discovering your interest in quantity surveying and building surveying and assessing your skills: read a quantity surveying intern’s advice for getting an internship.