What is rural practice?

Rural Practice Surveyors provide practical and strategic knowledge to clients involved in rural land and property. It shares many skills and activities with real estate, but its focus is on the maintenance and enhancement of a healthy rural environment and the functioning of a vibrant rural economy.

Whist Rural Practice Surveyors will be expected to have a broad base of knowledge, they may also become specialists, in areas including agriculture, auctioneering and valuation, forestry, property management and environmental issues.


What’s required for the role?

  • Excellent communication skills such as negotiation, tact and diplomacy
  • The ability to work well with a wide range of clients and stakeholders
  • Commercial and business awareness
  • A passion and understanding of rural issues and a genuine interest in the countryside
  • Some numeracy skills, such as the ability to analyse and present statistical information
  • Problem solving
  • Team working

The details

Learn more about the role

What's the role like in practice?

Rural Practice Surveyors can work in the public sector, in private practice or directly for corporate or private landowners.

The job can be varied, and include estate management, where you might manage a team of estate employees, landlord and tenant matters, valuations, advising on specialist areas such as rural grants, strategic planning and the selling, buying and marketing of rural assets.

These can include farms, residential properties, sporting rights, rights of way and access, forestry, industrial units and workshops.

Usual office hours apply, although some flexibility will be required as you will need to fit in with your client and some weekend working may be required too.

You can expect to travel around the geographical area you work in and have a full driving licence.

What's the work environment like?

Split between office and travel to and in the estate or region. You may be outside a great deal and in all weathers.

What qualifications are required?

A non-cognate or RICS accredited degree is often required, with most surveyors working towards chartered status with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).

Is it for you?

You might like if you enjoy:

  • Working with different people such as clients, colleagues, tenants, businesses and the general public
  • Applying business and strategy skills in the rural environment

Other useful skills to have:

  • Researching and explaining data
  • Using verbal and written communication skills
  • Doing deals and making transactions
  • People management and leadership


How are rural surveyors responding to the need for sustainability?

Rural surveyors are responding to new challenges – including the UK’s withdrawal from the EU Common Agricultural Policy, the need for sustainable estate management and the political, public and financial focus on the environment and sustainable food production.  They are becoming increasingly specialised to support clients through ongoing changes to the way rural assets are managed.

While UK agricultural policy beyond Brexit is still to be finalised, the focus is likely to involve increased environmental stewardship, with public monies securing “good” environmental outcomes. Rural Surveyors are still focusing on land use, income generation and the long term future of rural assets but are doing so with the concepts of Stewardship and the sustainable use of assets and resources firmly on the agenda.

Examples include the management of water resources, renewable energy projects, modern tenancy agreements that set out conservation responsibilities and objectives, new sources of income to provide income to support ongoing conservation projects, supporting wildlife and conserving land with access rights.

Employment opportunities

Where will it take you?

Larger firms recruit graduates on to graduate development programmes. Smaller firms recruit all year round.

Whilst many students have an RICS accredited degree, there are opportunities for non-cognate graduates to join a firm and study for a property qualification whilst working.

There are also degree apprenticeships in real estate surveying available which can lead to work in rural practice.

Find out

Explore the role


Bridget Wells

Careers Adviser


+44 (0)118 921 4392

Admissions Team


UK (Free): 0800 019 9697 (Option 1)

International: +44 (0)118 921 4696 (Option 1)

Enquiries Team


UK (Free): 0800 019 9697

International: +44 (0)118 921 4696