A day in the life of a Trainee Project Surveyor

What does your job involve day to day?

We have just completed our Degree Apprenticeship which was a 4 year course, at Anglia Ruskin University where we attended one day a week. When in the office, Sam focuses more on the Cost Management role, whilst Niamh fulfils an Employer’s Agent role.  We are both working towards our APC so we need to keep a diary of all the experience that we are gaining.

Sam:  My typical day might involve looking at a project proposal to advise the client on whether it is financially viable or whether there are opportunities for value engineering. We often run the tender process for our clients so I may be reviewing tender submissions from Main Contractors or comparing tender submissions against my own cost plan to see the discrepancies.  We also monitor progress for investors that are financing projects so I could be assisting in the issuing of a bank reports or reviewing progress on site to ensure it is in line with the money claimed. 

Niamh: I spend a bit more time out on site than Sam and regularly attend site meetings where I work with the client and contractor to ensure that the project is running smoothly and to deal with any issues that have come up. When I return to the office, I write up the minutes from the meeting and also monthly reports for the client.  Towards the end of a project, I will go out on site ‘snagging’ which means identifying any faults or repairs that need doing before the property is handed over to the client.

How did you become a Trainee Project Surveyor?

Sam:  I had completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in Business and considered doing a degree straight out of College, but I didn’t know what I wanted to study so I decided to look at what jobs were available.  I was working as a Trainee Project Manager for a construction company in Devon when I found the Degree Apprenticeship opportunity with Oxbury.  I moved to Norfolk to join the team and four years later I feel if was the best decision I could have made.

Niamh:  I joined Oxbury straight after finishing my A-Levels.  I did not have any experience of construction or surveying but it was an area I had always been interested in.  My mentor helped me with my technical knowledge and I quickly found that skills like confidence and communication were just as important in the role.

What’s the best part of the job?

We both enjoyed the balance between University studies and work and appreciate having an experienced Mentor and an APC Assessor to support us.  We hope to have completed our APC and achieved Chartered status by the end of June 2024.  It’s a relaxed and friendly work environment at the office and we are now helping to coach the newer Apprentices that are just starting their training.  There is a good networking group for young people in Construction called G4C and we regularly meet up with others from that group for social events.  The salary and benefits are good and it’s really nice to be graduating from Uni without any debt at all.

What skills do you need?

When starting out as a Trainee you do not need any technical knowledge, because everything is taught either at Uni or by a Mentor.  You do need to be confident and able to talk to anyone, keep calm under pressure and enjoy problem solving.  As a Quantity Surveyor you do need to be good with numbers and have an eye for detail. 

Sam and Niamh v2