Estates Officer

The Job and What's Involved

Estates officers are responsible for the management of large estates of land and property belonging to local councils, health authorities or other organisations. It is an estates officer's job to make sure that the land or property is maintained effectively both in terms of how it is used and its economic value to the company. During the course of a week, an estates officer's duties may include:

  • Assessing rents.
  • Dealing with tenancy applications for housing and businesses.
  • Monitoring tenancy agreements.
  • Making sure the property is being used appropriately.
  • Making sure properties are well maintained and provide adequate returns on investment.
  • Organising and checking repairs.
  • Organising and monitoring building or engineering works.
  • Managing an organisation's property portfolio.
  • Overseeing land management and environmental issues.

Estates officers give advice on all land and property deals, such as sales and purchasing. This advice might relate to buying or renting land and property or letting public authority buildings and land to others.

Most estates officers have a broad range of responsibilities, but can specialise in letting, buying or management. The work involves site visits, attending meetings and liaising with other organisations. Meetings can involve complicated negotiations. There is also some financial and statistical work, as well as writing valuations and reports.

Estates officers usually work 36 hours a week, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. They might have to do some evening work to attend committees, and work extra hours to meet deadlines. There may be opportunities for flexitime, job sharing and part-time work.

Estates officers are mostly office based, but they may have to travel to attend meetings and visit sites. Site visits can take place outside in all weathers and may involve a lot of walking and climbing ladders.

A driving licence is generally required.

A junior estates officer may earn up to £24,000 a year. Experienced and qualified estates officers may earn around £32,000 a year.

Heads of units, specialist areas or departments may earn around £38,000 a year.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

A lot of estates officers work in local government. There are also opportunities with health authorities, civil service departments, university estates departments, charities and the Office of Government Commerce.

Local authorities are increasingly contracting out much of the work carried out by their estates departments. This trend is expected to increase over the next few years, which means there will be more opportunities in the private sector.

Jobs are advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices, the local and national press, local government websites and other internet recruitment sites. There are job opportunities throughout the UK.

Education and Training

The Diploma in construction and the built environment may be relevant for this area of work.

There is an Advanced Apprenticeship in surveying that may be relevant for working as an estates officer. The Apprenticeship has two routes, one of which is the surveying, property and maintenance option, which may be appropriate. The qualification covers maintenance, building surveying and valuation, assessing the condition of a property and managing the development of land.

Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.

Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at

There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information visit My World of Work, Careers Wales; and for Northern Ireland contact

Another route in would be as a surveying technician. Surveying technicians provide assistance, support and specialist knowledge, but are not as highly qualified as chartered surveyors. The relevant qualifications for this role include NVQ Level 4 in surveying, property and maintenance; quantity surveying practice or spatial data management. Alternatively, there are Higher National Certificate/Diploma (HNC/D) qualifications in surveying. The entry requirements for HNC/D courses are usually a minimum of one A level or a BTEC National Diploma/Certificate plus four GCSEs (A*-C).

More and more entrants now have a degree or diploma approved by a related professional institution. Entry to a degree course is usually with at least two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C), including English and maths, or equivalent qualifications. Universities and colleges are sometimes flexible about entry requirements for applicants coming into the profession from non-academic backgrounds if they have relevant work experience and are able to demonstrate the ability to learn.

Some estates officers are surveyors. Surveyors need a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or a non-accredited degree followed by a postgraduate course.

The College of Estate Management offers distance-learning courses at all levels of entry.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Entrants usually follow an induction programme to become familiar with the organisation, its work and procedures.

Continued professional development (CPD) is encouraged.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

An estates officer should:

  • Be good at written and verbal communication.
  • Be organised.
  • Have good computer skills.
  • Have good presentation skills.
  • Be a good negotiator.
  • Be able to analyse written and numerical information.
  • Have an eye for detail when examining property and documentation.
  • Be able to co-ordinate the work of others.
  • Be able to get on with all kinds of people.
  • Be able to manage external contractors.
  • Be able to cope well with pressure.

Your Long Term Prospects

Promotion prospects depend on the size and scope of estates departments. Larger departments tend to have a more clearly defined career path.

Estates officers can progress to become the head of a unit, specialist area or department.

Get Further Information

Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB),
Englemere, Kings Ride, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7TB
Tel: 01344 630700

Chartered Institute of Housing,
Octavia House, Westwood Way,
Coventry CV4 8JP
Tel: 024 7685 1700

The College of Estate Management,
Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AW
Tel: 0800 019 9697

The Institute of Healthcare Engineering
and Estate Management (IHEEM),
2 Abingdon House, Cumberland Business Centre,
Northumberland Road, Portsmouth PO5 1DS
Tel: 02392 823186

RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS),
Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD
Tel: 0870 333 1600

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