Quantity surveyors are responsible for managing all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects.
They help to ensure that the construction project is completed within its projected budget. Alternative job titles for a quantity surveyor include ‘cost consultant’, ‘commercial manager’, ‘cost manager’ and ‘cost engineer’.
Employers of quantity surveyors
The main employers for quantity surveyors are:
- specialist cost management/quantity surveying consultancies working within the construction industry
- construction and engineering companies (consultants and contractors)
However, quantity surveyors may also find a few vacancies with these types of employers:
- property firms and property developers
- architectural practices
- infrastructure and utility companies
- public sector organizations
- prepare tender and contract documents, including bills of quantities with the architect and/or the client;
- undertake cost analysis for repair and maintenance project work;
- assist in establishing a client’s requirements and undertake feasibility studies;
- perform risk, value management and cost control;
- advise on a procurement strategy;
- identify, analyze and develop responses to commercial risks;
- prepare and analyze costings for tenders;
- allocate work to subcontractors;
- provide advice on contractual claims;
- analyze outcomes and write detailed progress reports;
- value completed work and arrange payments;
- maintain awareness of the different building contracts in current use;
- understand the implications of health and safety regulations.
There are routes into a career as a quantity surveyor for both university graduates and school leavers. Those without a degree may start in the industry as a technical surveyor (also known as surveying technicians). But, to secure work as a quantity surveyor they will need to complete a degree.
The first degree can be in any subject but those which may help to provide relevant knowledge include:
- building or construction;
- civil or structural engineering;
- urban and land studies.
- a practical and logical mind and a methodical way of thinking;
- a creative and innovative approach to problem solving;
- strong numeracy and financial management skills and the ability to learn sophisticated design and costing IT packages;
- the ability to write clear and precise reports and to relate complex information in a simple way to a diverse range of people;
- negotiation and team work skills and the ability to motivate and lead those on site;
- detailed knowledge of past and current building and construction technology, processes, materials, business and legal matters.