Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Working lives

Nigel Pavey, 37, is a senior surveyor with Kingsland Surveyors, based in Leatherhead, Surrey Route to job While studying for A level maths and physics I completed a one-year O level surveying course, which I enjoyed very much.

After finishing school I embarked on a full-time Btech HND in engineering surveying at what was Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham.

I started my first real surveying job soon after finishing my HND with EDI Surveys, in Ipswich, as a junior surveyor.

I then applied for a surveying post with consulting engineer McDowells, based in Ashtead, Surrey.

Once there, I started to travel more and worked on increasingly varied projects. I loved travelling, so the idea of being paid to go to places really appealed.

Not knowing from one week to the next where I would be working, or on what type of project, gave my career a sense of anticipation and excitement.

McDowells briefly became part of the Southern Water Group and, after a few management changes, Geoff King broke away and set up Kingsland Surveyors, taking me with him and making me a partner in the process.

Expectations I've known since studying for my HND that surveyors will always be needed. New infrastructure is always being constructed.

Reality The projects I undertake tend to be small, lasting only a few days, but varied. Recent work includes a detailed topographical survey in Bracknell, covering railway lines, motorway and farmland.

I have also recently established grid lines and set out points and site datum for a new construction project in Camden, north London, and completed a full architectural building survey of a 320-room hotel.

Advice There is a definite lack of qualified surveyors in the construction industry, so embarking on this career path guarantees successful prospects.

And there aren't many jobs that allow you to travel, and work in the fresh air, on completely different projects from one week to the next. And when it does get too cold and wet, you can always spend time in the office computating and 'cadding'.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.