Rural Practice Surveyor

hat work is involved?

  As a rural practice surveyor, sometimes known as an agricultural surveyor, you would be involved in offering advice on a range of aspects of countryside management and development. You might undertake the sale or purchase of rural holdings, value land, property and livestock and organise auctions; you might issue shooting or fishing permits or advise on leisure activities such as golf courses, outward-bound activities or tourist accommodation; you might be involved with managing an estate or large farming enterprise.
  You could be employed as a consultant offering advice to farmers or landowners on such things as buildings, livestock, and investment in machinery or other possible uses for farmland. You could become involved with insurance, tax or compensation issues. Another area that is becoming increasingly important is that of conservation and the environment. As these examples show, this can be a very varied job, concerned with a full range of countryside issues.

pportunities for training

  There are several possible routes to qualification, including distance learning, taking an accredited degree or following a relevant postgraduate course. Whatever academic route you follow, you can work towards chartered membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) by completing a period of structured practical training with an employer, ending with the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence. There are also some courses accredited by the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).
  The CAAV suggests initial training on one of three programmes:
Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University
Real Estate at Reading University (Henley Business School)
Rural Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester
  All three institutions offer undergraduate and postgraduate provision, and all carry RICS accreditation.
  There are also courses supporting the profession at Cambridge University (Department of Land Economy) and University College of Estate Management (Reading)

equirements for entry

  For entry to a degree course you are likely to be asked for two or three A level/Advanced Higher, three or four Higher or equivalent qualifications, together with supporting GCSE/S Grade passes at 9-4/A*-C/1-3, including English and maths. Some courses will accept more practical qualifications in place of the above.

ind of person

  You would need to have a good basic understanding of the countryside and of rural matters. In addition to your agricultural interests, you should have a sound knowledge of the law and of financial matters. You could be involved with such things as valuations, managing accounting systems and budgeting, so you would need to be numerate. You should enjoy solving problems and applying your knowledge to find practical and logical solutions.
  You could find yourself working for or with a wide range of different people and you would need to be able to communicate with them all clearly and with authority. You would need to enjoy being part of a rural community and out in the countryside in all weathers. You are likely to be walking some distance and clambering around buildings, which means that you would need to be reasonably fit and agile.

road outlook for the future

  There are a number of different areas of employment for rural practice surveyors. You might work in the public sector for a local authority or a government department, such as the Ministry of Defence or the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. You might equally find work with a major rural charity such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or the National Trust. However, the major area of employment is the private sector, where you might be employed directly by an estate or large farm, indirectly by a group of smaller properties or within the rural department of a firm of general practice surveyors. There is increasingly work involving conservation issues and the diversification of use of rural land.

elated occupations

  You might also consider: estate manager/land agent, ecologist, environmental consultant, farm manager, horticultural manager, landscape architect, town and country planner or land/geomatics surveyor, hydrographic surveyor, building surveyor or quantity surveyor.

mpact on lifestyle

  This is certainly not a Monday to Friday, nine to five job. The hours would depend greatly on the season and the consequent demands of the countryside. You would be working outside in all sorts of weather and at times likely to get wet, cold and muddy. You would need to spend a lot of time talking to farmers and other rural clients, listening to their problems and worries. You may be expected to travel quite long distances to get to your work.

arnings potential

  Traditionally, this is not the best-paid branch of surveying, the compensation being that it offers an attractive lifestyle if you enjoy the country life. If you enter the profession as a graduate, you may start on £20,000 to £25,000. This is likely to rise to around £40,000 to £50,000 when you achieve full professional status and gain experience. The current average salary of rural practice surveyors working in the UK is nearly £42,000plus a bonus of around £7,500. Sometimes you may be offered accommodation as part of the payment package.

urther information/valuable websites

  Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  University College of Estate Management
  Chartered Institute of Building
  Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
  Harper Adams University
  Royal Agricultural University
  Reading University (Henley)
  Society of Chartered Surveyors, Ireland