Chartered Surveyor
Colliers International

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James P

00:00:02 My name’s James P and I’m a chartered surveyor at Colliers CRE. I advise my clients on the purchase or the sale of investment property and I specialise in shops, high street shops and shopping centres.

00:00:20 What I remember at school was sort of being put under a lot of pressure and being told that the next thing was the biggest thing and the most important thing in the world and, I think, I look back and I think that there was maybe a bit too much pressure put on people when they’re that age. I didn’t actually achieve the A Level results that I was hoping to achieve which ended up in me not going to my first choice university straight after school.

00:00:45 I was very calm about it, I think I was so uncertain about my path it was actually quite a nice thing that a decision had been made for me, that I wouldn’t do something and I had to find something else and I had this, you know, the world’s suddenly, I had this opportunity to do anything I wanted to do. I went to live in Namibia, a country in southern Africa, quite close to a lot of my family who live in Zimbabwe. I ended up getting a fantastic job running a bar in a hostel in the capital Windhoek. It was a fantastic eight months because it was kind of a growing up period but also an opportunity to go and live somewhere totally different.

00:01:24 I think when I came back from my gap year and obviously had to go to university, it was quite a hard point because I’d obviously had such a great time. The course was supposedly the most important thing but I think actually when you look back at it, sort of eight years later, I think the most important thing I got out of university was probably an incredible bunch of friends that I’m still very close with.

00:01:49 When I finished university I was slightly disappointed. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up getting a job as a removal man which was sort of just to pass the time and to work out what kind of career I wanted to go into. I sort of toyed with the idea of accountancy or working in the insurance business because of being good at maths. But they really didn’t appeal and in the end I saved up quite a bit of money and decided to go live in Australia for a bit.

00:02:18 I was avoiding possibly the inevitable in that my father was a chartered surveyor and I always thought I didn’t want to do anything that he did. I got to Sydney and started doing some sort of local jobs but ended up deciding that I wanted to have a crack at surveying and I got a job at Colliers in Sydney and it was just the most brilliant experience because I was living on the North Shore, getting the ferry to work in my suit, it was the middle of the summer and it was just a brilliant lifestyle and the people are fantastic. I was in different properties every day, I got to see the whole of Sydney and even travel to Melbourne and Brisbane on business and I think I really got a taste for it.

00:03:05 I think I was always encouraged when I was younger that to go into the likes of accountancy I think my family always thought, I was very, very good at maths and that was going to be the route that I would take. I would say I was almost a little bit pushed but I kind of really resisted and when I came back from Australia I came home and said, “Actually, I think I’m going to be a chartered surveyor.” I think they were pretty surprised. I knew that Colliers was where I wanted to work but it was still a case of having to go through the interview process like anyone else but I think it went well and I’ve had a job there ever since, been working there now for five years.

00:03:45 The thing I’ve learnt about careers is that it isn’t really a race. A lot of my friends went straight into a job after university. I obviously ended up having a couple of years after university before I started work but, you know, it hasn’t held me back in any way and I don’t think that it ever meant that I wasn’t earning as much as them or I couldn’t do things. It just wasn’t a race and I think it’s quite important to remember that.


James P is a Chartered Surveyor at Colliers International (formerly Colliers CRE). Gap years have been an education for him. On a gap year he got a job with Colliers in Sydney – “It was just the most brilliant experience… it was just a brilliant lifestyle and the people are fantastic. I was in different properties every day”. He now specialises in shops.

More information about Chartered surveyors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

86%  male 
14%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Chartered surveyors conduct surveys related to the measurement, management, valuation and development of land, natural resources, buildings, other types of property, and infrastructure such as harbours, roads and railway lines.
Entrants usually possess an accredited degree, equivalent qualification and/or postgraduate qualification. Entrants must also have successfully completed a probationary training period and professional assessment. Entry requirements to professional bodies vary.
  • Surveys, measures and describes land surfaces to establish property boundaries and to aid with construction or cartographic work;
  • Surveys mines, prepares drawings of surfaces, hazards and other features to control the extent and direction of mining;
  • Surveys buildings to determine necessary alterations and repairs;
  • Measures shore lines, elevations and underwater contours, establishes high and low water marks, plots shore features and defines navigable channels.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Architectural & related 31645
Real estate 15817
Construction 3694
Head offices, etc 2943
Specialised construction 2902
Public admin. & defence 1728
Health 1645
Membership organisations 1592
Other professional 1394
Office admin. 1155
Employment status

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