Agricultural Surveyor

What is RICS?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a professional body that accredits professionals who work in land, property and construction sectors worldwide. RICS regulates and promotes the surveying profession as well as maintaining high standards within the industry. If you are a surveyor, you can achieve chartered status by applying to RICS and be awarded with a professional title and qualification.

What is an agricultural surveyor?

Who do farmers call when they want advice on making the most of their land? Who’ll manage forested areas to ensure their protection? Who’ll advise a farmer on the best options for pest control? An agricultural surveyor, that’s who!

You could play a key change in developing rural land and property so that it is sustainable, profitable and protected.

As an agricultural surveyor, you’ll usually:  

  • Advise on the law relating to land, tenancy, agriculture, environment, planning, buying and selling, valuation and taxation.
  • Give professional advice to farmers and landowners.
  • Run and manage rural estates, including managing staff, stock and land.
  • Give agricultural advice on planting, harvesting and pest control.
  • Develop rural land or business or leisure uses.
  • Map and measure rural land – this could involve creating computer maps of the landscape using geographical information systems (GIS).
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What does an agricultural surveyor do?

Agricultural surveyors (also known as rural surveyors) help and manage farms and rural estates. As an agricultural surveyor, you’ll advise your clients on using, selling, buying, managing, planning and developing land and rural property. You’ll also value property and assets like farm machinery and crops – which means you’ll explain to the client how much they’re worth.

Agricultural surveyors draw on a wide range of skills and knowledge in key areas such as agriculture, management of the natural environment and landscape, property management and valuation. Fundamental to all agricultural Surveyors is an understanding of the issues facing the countryside, and the many relationships with the people who live and work in these areas.

How does it all work? An example would be a farmer wants to buy more land to expand his farm. So a rural surveyor will act as a consultant and value the land the farmer would like to purchase and its assets, making sure that the farmer gets the best deal possible. An agricultural surveyor will assist the farmer with the sale, so that he can make his business grow and become more profitable.

As well as advising clients, you’ll be looking into the financial, environmental and economic impact of new projects near rural areas. For example, you could research the impact a proposed new road might have on the value of an area of farmland.  

You’ll also help make sure that applications for funding and grants are made so that farmers and landowners can get any financial support that’s out there for them.

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Is a surveying career right for me?

If you can match your interest in the environment with a good head for business and you want to help people, then a career in agricultural surveying could be a great fit for you. Farmers and landowners are the stewards of our countryside; adaptability is key to a sustainable rural economy; this requires advisors with imagination and vision to advise the owners and managers of the rural businesses; making a difference to enhance the future of the countryside.

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How to become an agricultural surveyor

Once you’ve completed an undergraduate or post-graduate degree accredited by RICS, you can start to become a chartered surveyor. Becoming chartered can boost your skills and employability as well as your earning potential. Becoming a member of RICS will give you a globally recognised qualification too, so you can work all over the world!

To become a member of RICS and become chartered, you first need to be employed as a rural surveyor. You’ll then take part in an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). This APC consists of gaining experience in your chosen field - you’ll keep a written record of your experience or structured training, followed by a professional interview and presentation. Once you have passed the APC, you are a member of RICS and can put this on your CV to impress employers. To find out more about membership at RICS and the APC, click here

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