Ultimately, becoming a Chartered Surveyor is hard work. There is no getting away from it. Upon graduating with a RICS accredited degree, it takes a dedicated mind and determined work ethic to complete the additional stages of development that will then propel you to Chartered status. But it’s worth it.
Chartership is a highly respected level of development in your career. In the words of Alan Muse representing the accrediting body, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the notion of Chartership is important because ‘it provides a quality benchmark for the demand side of industry, a comparison and consistency gauge for the supply side of the industry and enhances the career prospects, rewards and recognition of the individual’.
Ultimately, by the time you get there, you will have worked hard to achieve your MRICS status and aside from any personal gratification or pride in your newly revered qualification, your employer should reward you for it!
The average UK property professional salary is now at its highest level for the last 9 years and increased in 2015 to £54,771, rising by 7.0% from £51,179 the year before. RICS membership leads to higher remuneration, for example a FRICS qualified surveyor commands a 44% premium to a non-RICS counterpart with the same level of experience (figures from 2015 provided by the RICS).
On talking to clients about the apparent increase in market rate salaries seen in the industry last two years, the average QS passing their APC in the current climate will typically receive a pay increase of 10-15% with their existing employer, either with immediate effect or when the next company-wide pay review is due. This increase will not be revoked and will only accelerate your base salary further as you progress your career, inspiring the notion that the sooner you can achieve MRICS status, the better.
If you are not yet Chartered but have extensive experience in the field, the alternative avenue to achieving MRICS status through what is known as ‘the experienced route’ is very much one you should be considering if you qualify. Speaking from a recruiter’s perspective, I can’t re-iterate this enough in terms of the doors that will open for you once you are Chartered with respect to career opportunities. Yes there is a very gruelling interview process and yes you may need to pay out your fees and then maintain the required level of CPD from there, although most consultancies these days will cover these costs for you. But hear me again, it’s worth it!
According to the RICS, the main obstacle for quantity surveyors looking to become Chartered seems to be motivation. Construction does not have the best image and suffers from a lack of diversity. There also needs to be wider recognition of the benefits of Chartered status, including the global potential and recognition of the qualification.
Currently in the UK there are approximately 20,000 Chartered Quantity Surveyors with many more students and trainees. Nonetheless, there is still a large number of candidates I speak to as a specialist Recruiter in the Quantity Surveying sector that are not Chartered and have progressed through their career not feeling the need to be so. This is, of course, your professional prerogative but as a recruiter trying to present you with job options, this is also the point at which my hands are often tied….
If you haven’t yet deduced this for yourself, the demand for Quantity Surveyors is certainly at a record high, especially in the busy London construction market. It can be frustrating therefore when our clients are so busy and yet they stipulate Chartered status as essential criteria when hiring staff. When there are still such strong unchartered candidates in the market seeking new roles, there does seem to be a slight dis-chord here. This is of course, in turn, the employer’s prerogative.
In the long-term it may be argued that this issue could be overcome by making ‘Chartership’ more accessible; either by widening the doors to more vocational training paths or by making the process by which overseas surveyors could potentially become Chartered a little easier. It should be noted that in this vein, RICS have recently accredited a new university course in Russia for example and I am sure the future will see similar appropriation. However, in the short-term, make the most of the demand and if you are eligible, consider obtaining Chartered status now. It’s never too late!
So, if you are recently or verging on becoming Chartered and are not seeing the recognition or rewards from your current employer, then get in touch and let us present you with a wider perspective. Alternatively, if you are not yet Chartered and want to learn more about becoming so, then visit www.rics.org or please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a more informal conversation on how to get the support you need.
In conclusion, the message is simply this: invest in your career and you will reap the rewards. Because you’re worth it!
For further information or a confidential discussion around becoming Chartered and career opportunities in the cost management field, please contact Melani King on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07764 824 532.