What’s it all about then?
You’ll provide a range of professional and technical advice to farms and estates to help them make the best use of their land.
This means valuing property and other assets, advising on legal issues, and helping to develop the land to maximise profits
You might work across a number of related job areas of specialise in a number including the following:
- auctioneering and valuation
- environmental regulations and practices
- forestry and forests
- property management
This means that Rural Practice Surveyors may also be known by specialist titles such as Land Agent, Forester, Environmental Consultant, Property Manager etc.
What might I be doing?
The range of duties will vary depending on whether or not you have decided to specialise as above, but most the following are likely to include some of these:
- Managing rural estates and their personnel
- Ensuring that all facilities are being utilised effectively
- Carrying out valuations for clients for sale, taxation etc
- Arranging auctions of property and assisting clients with the sale process
- Negotiating agreements relating to land usage
- Identifying, evaluating and implementing potential development opportunities
- Issuing contracts for various activities
- Liaising with landowners and updating them of progress and advising of potential problems
- Analysing and utilising financial data
- Building and maintaining good relationships with the local rural community
- Providing professional advice on environmental issues and the impact of legislation on land use
- Representing clients in planning and other legal matters
- Keeping abreast of developments that might concern future land use
- Liaising with a wide variety of clients, farmers and other people
What will be expected of me?
As you’ll be dealing with lots of different people in your job, this means that you will need to be able to be tactful and diplomatic in order to get things moving; of course the ability to solve sort term problems and think strategically at the same time is also really important.
You’re going to have to be skilled in finance and able to use computers effectively in order to produce spreadsheets and other reports.
You’ll need to be genuinely interested in countryside matters and understand the best value way to use and develop land and buildings
A working knowledge of land use legislation is also vital.
And of course you’ll have to be able to drive and prepared to work outdoors in all sorts of weather.
What can I expect?
While standard working hours are usually 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, the average working week can actually work out at well over 40 hours. Surveyors are required to fit in with clients' work patterns as necessary, which may involve evening or weekend work, depending on agricultural demands. Auctions may also take place at weekends.
What about the pay?
The pay will vary from place to place and depend on the exact nature of the role but starting salaries for a Rural Practice Surveyor are likely to be in the range £22000 to £25000.
As you gain experience this can rise to between £28000 and £38000, with senior and chartered surveyors earning around £45000
You will also enjoy a contributory pension and possibly a company car as well
Please remember that these figures are intended as a guideline only
What qualifications do I need to get in?
You will very likely need a degree in a relevant subject for this role, for instance agriculture, estate management, property management, geography, and environmental studies.
You could also consider a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors such as Quantity Surveying.
Studying an RICS accredited course shortens the length of time you have to spend in professional training, which lasts at least one year.
In order to become a Chartered Surveyor you will need to study for the Assessment of Professional Competence, while you are working.
Where would I get these qualifications?
There are many relevant courses located throughout the country which will prepare you for a career as a rural practice surveyor.
You should consider the many options available to you before making a final choice; the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has a useful online course/university finder on www.ricscourses.org
What about further training?
You should continue to update your knowledge and skills throughout your career.
An effective method is working towards chartered status of the RICS above, which offers a variety of options.
There are also many post graduate courses available to the Rural Practice Surveyor and the applicability of these courses will depend on your current job role and in which direction your career is headed.
Please check the online course/university finder above for details of accredited post graduate qualifications.
These courses are typically available on a full time and part time basis so you can arrange your learning around your work.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, the selling of farms and estates is very different from that involved in the selling of houses – this means you’ll need a specialist qualification for this job.
If you’re interested in this job then you should consider trying to secure summer work on a farm; this will provide you with useful experience in dealing with rural people and issues.