Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Role of a Quantity Surveyor

The role of a quantity surveyor is to manage the costs relating to building projects. This may include new builds, renovations or maintenance work. From early design costs to final figures, quantity surveyors seek to minimise the costs of the project and enhance value for money whilst ensuring that the project meets all legal and quality assurance requirements.

Quantity surveyor duties typically include:
Conducting feasibility studies to estimate materials, time and labour costs
Preparing, negotiating and analysing costs for tenders and contracts
Coordination of work effort
Advising on a range of legal and contractual issues
Valuing completed work and arranging for payments


To become a quantity surveyor a degree or a professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is required. The following degrees are considered most relevant to the role of a quantity surveyor:
Civil engineering
Structural engineering

Entry into the profession without a degree or a relevant degree is possible. For those without a degree or HND some employers may be prepared to fund a part time degree top-up course. For those with a non-relevant degree will need to take an RICS recognised postgraduate conversion course.
Skills and Knowledge

In addition to the above qualification requirements employers also look for the following qualities:
Methodical way of thinking
Good knowledge of construction
Excellent problem solving skills
Good financial and numeracy management skills
Excellent communication and negotiating skills
The ability to absorb complex information and assess requirements readily
Computer literate
A clear understanding of HSE building regulations and legal guidelines

Career opportunities

After several years of experience in the industry many quantity surveyors have the opportunity to either become a contractor or move into a more lucrative consultancy based role. There is also scope to work abroad especially in places with large construction projects such as Dubai. To find out more about working in Dubai click here.

An alternative route for some is to move into a project management role. With specialist knowledge of cost assessments and control, many quantity surveyors enjoy using their skills and knowledge in wider sphere of activity.

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