Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quantity Surveyor - The Work, Hours, Skills and Knowledge, and Opportunities

Quantity Surveyor - The Work

As a quantity surveyor you would play a key role in a building project, managing the costs from the early design plans, through to the building's completion. Your priorities would be to make sure that projects meet legal and quality standards, and that clients get good value for money.

You might work on:
housing and industrial sites
retail and commercial developments
roads, rail and waterways.

On most projects, your main responsibilities would be:
carrying out feasibility studies to estimate materials, time and labour costs
negotiating and drawing up bids for tenders and contracts
monitoring each stage of construction to make sure that costs are in line with forecasts
providing financial progress reports to clients
advising clients on legal and contractual matters
acting on clients' behalf to resolve disputes
assessing the financial costs of new environmental guidelines, such as using sustainable timber.

You would use computer software to carry out some of these tasks, and to keep records, prepare work schedules and write reports. You might also deal with the maintenance and renovation costs once buildings are in use.

Quantity Surveyor - Hours

You would normally work Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, although some overtime may be required on evenings or weekends.

Your time would be split between office-based duties and site visits.

Quantity Surveyor - Skills and Knowledge

a good knowledge of construction methods and materials
budget handling skills
excellent IT and maths skills
a methodical approach to work
good organisational skills
a clear understanding of Building Regulations and other legal guidelines
excellent communication and negotiating skills
the ability to work as part of a team.

Quantity Surveyor - Opportunities

Typical employers include local authority and government departments, private practice, building contractors, property companies and civil engineering firms.

With experience and professional development, you could progress to project management, consultancy work or self-employment. You could also use your skills to move into some of the other branches of surveying listed in the Related Profiles section.

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