A quantity surveyor manages the costs on a construction or civil engineering project, ensuring that the project is completed within its projected budget. They are responsible for the cost of the building project, from initial estimates until the final acquisition of materials.
With projects beginning constantly, it is a role where personnel are always required. It is an important role within a project, requiring a well organised, financially minded individual who enjoys working with numbers and people.
Duties may include:
- Pricing up the cost of the different materials needed for a project
- Preparing tender documents, contracts, budgets and bills of quantities
- Tracking changes in design and adjusting budget accordingly
- Looking at the financial risk of a development and ensuring building regulations are met
- Liaising with architects
- Sorting out upcoming work for contractors and paying them for work done
- Selecting and sourcing construction materials
- Site visits and assessments
- Writing reports
- Projections for future work
Desirable skills and attributes:
- Excellent communicator
- Impressive numeracy skills
- Innovative approach to problem solving
- Ability to negotiate across various levels
- A strong passion for the construction trade
- A good working knowledge of MS Excel, and the ability to learn how to use specialist software
- Team player
- Attention to detail
- Methodical approach to work
Qualification and Education needed:
It is possible to enter into this profession without a degree, beginning as a technical surveyor and then studying, or through an apprenticeship, however the most common route is with a degree.
You can gain a degree in Quantity surveying, but it is also possible to undertake a post graduate conversion course after gaining a degree in a different subject. The subject could technically be in anything, yet subjects such as maths, economics or finance would prove most beneficial.
As a fully qualified quantity surveyor, you may decide to continue working across a broad range of areas, and have the option to go into freelance or self-employed work, as well as take up opportunities within overseas positions.
Quantity surveyors may decide to specialise in a specific area of the construction industry focusing on areas such as property taxation, costing advice, maintenance of existing buildings, and application to funding sources.