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Building surveyor

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Summary of occupation

​Building inspectors, more commonly known as building surveyors, inspect work on buildings for compliance with construction laws and regulations, and safety standards. They also make sure that buildings are energy efficient and accessible. They analyse plans, issue relevant permits, certificates and approvals, and conduct inspections during the construction phase to ensure that the building is fit to be occupied. Building surveyors may work all over the State in corporate companies working on residential and commercial developments, or for local government agencies.

ANZSCO description: Inspects buildings to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and advises on building requirements. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Building certifier, Building inspector
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A building surveyor needs:

  • knowledge and experience in the construction industry
  • strong negotiation and problems solving abilities
  • well-developed oral and written communication skills
  • good organisational, planning and time management skills
  • the ability to develop good working relationships with clients and customers
  • to be able work well under pressure.
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Working conditions

​Building surveyors often split their time between working in an office environment and being on construction sites conducting inspections. They generally work business hours, however, they may work overtime to meet project deadlines. Building sites may be hazardous spaces and when on site they are usually required to wear safety gear.

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Salary details

On average, building surveyors can expect to earn between $1,442 and $2,115 per week ($75,000 and $110,000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Building surveyors use computers to prepare reports, maintain business documentation and databases, and communicate with clients. They read architectural plans to ensure compliance, and are able to connect the plans to construction conditions on site. When on a construction site they must wear safety equipment such as a hard hat, steel-capped boots, safety glasses, high-visibility clothing and ear protection.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

In WA, building surveyors must be registered with the Building Services Board. There are different levels of registration which, based on your qualifications and experience, determine the types of buildings you can work on. Contact the Building Commission Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety for more information.

Workers in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (commonly known as a white card). In WA, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by the WorkSafe Division; Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

To become a building surveyor, you usually need to complete a formal qualification in building surveying.

The Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying is available at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse the Jobs and Skills WA and My Skills websites to find a registered provider near you.

You can also complete a degree in building surveying. CQ University offers a six-year part time Bachelor of Building Surveying and Certification (Honours) via distance education. This is the only undergraduate degree in building surveying currently available in WA. Contact the university for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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