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Building Control Surveyor Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Building Control Surveyor. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Building Control Surveyor
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Building Control Surveyor Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Building control surveyors ensure that new building construction and alterations to existing buildings conform to building regulations. Plans are submitted to building control surveyors for approval and granting of planning permission, or are rejected if they fail to meet the required standards. A report explaining the decision will need to be provided by the surveyor.

Once the plans are approved, the building control surveyor will:

  • liaise with architects, designers, surveyors and engineers
  • suggest ways to improve cost-effectiveness in respect of use of materials and energy savings
  • carry out regular inspections of the building and building methods
  • take samples of new building materials and assess their suitability
  • maintain records and issue completion certificates.
  • If, during the course of the construction, the building control surveyor decides the building no longer conforms to the regulations, action to remedy the situation will be planned and implemented.
  • Building control surveyors working for local authorities also approve demolitions and carry out surveys of potentially dangerous buildings that may have been damaged by fire or adverse weather conditions. Other responsibilities may include administering entertainment licences, safety at sports grounds and other open air events, and cinema and theatre inspections.

Hours and Environment

Hours can vary but are normally usual office hours. Some building control surveyors will be on 24-hour call-out in case the emergency services need their expertise to inspect a dangerous building. Flexi-time and job-sharing may be available.

Time is spent between an office and site visits, which take place in all sorts of weather and will involve wearing safety equipment such as waterproofs and a hard hat. There is often the need to climb scaffolding and ladders to inspect roofs.

Skills and Interests

To be a building control surveyor you should:

  • have a broad knowledge of the technical and legal aspects of building
  • have a meticulous and logical approach towards problem solving
  • be able to understand technical drawings
  • have strong IT skills
  • have excellent communication skills, both written and spoken
  • be able to explain technical terms to members of the public
  • have time management skills and organisational ability
  • be able to work alone and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • hold a driving licence.


Entry requirements vary with different courses and employers, but most entrants into the profession have at least two A levels/H grades or a degree.

The minimum requirements for a degree are five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) plus two A levels/three Highers. Equivalent qualifications may be accepted.

Some employers ask for a BTEC/SQA Higher National Diploma (HND) in Building Studies or Civil Engineering, or a degree in a relevant subject such as building, building surveying or civil engineering. The entry qualifications depend on individual institutions. For a HND the normal requirements are four GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and one A level/two H grades. Some universities offer part-time courses in building control.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

The professional bodies have differing entry requirements for mature candidates with suitable experience; check with them for specific requirements.


Entrants usually combine on-the-job training with day or block release for a BTEC/SQA National Certificate/Diploma or a Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Building Studies over three to five years. NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Building Control is also available.

Most entrants then take the professional exams of either the Institute of Building Control (now merged with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) or the Association of Building Engineers (ABE), which normally involve three years' part-time study. Applicants with degrees in building and related subjects are exempt from some of the Institutes exams. After passing the written exams, candidates are assessed to evaluate their professional competence.

Professional institutes may also run seminars and training courses, and distance learning options may also be available. Contact them for further details.


Local authorities are the major employers of building control surveyors but there are also opportunities in the private sector, within government-appointed inspection bodies. There are possibilities for self-employment, consultancy work and to specialise in areas such as the fire retardancy of buildings and sports stadia.

Promotion in local authorities is linked to qualifications and experience, and there are opportunities to move into technical or planning roles in other sections.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only; there is no set income for building control surveyors.

New entrants will earn around £10,000 per year rising to £17,000 upon becoming fully qualified.
Salaries then vary depending on the size of the local authority or private company, ranging from £20,000 to £27,000 per year.
Departmental heads earn considerably more.

Further information:

Institute of Building Control
92-104 East Street
KT17 1EB
Tel: 01372 745577

Association of Building Engineers
Luytens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 01604 404121

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Surveyor Court
Westwood Way
Tel: 024 7669 4757

Employers Organisation for local government
Layden House
76-86 Turnmill Street
Tel: 020 7296 6600


National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Other Useful Building Control Surveyor Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Building Control Surveyor job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Building Control Surveyor Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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