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What does a quantity surveyor do and how do you become one?

Do you have efficient financial management skills? A productive mind-set and the desire to travel during your time at work? If so, we may have found the perfect job for you!

 

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What is a quantity surveyor?

While working as a quantity surveyor you’ll manage costs and contracts for building and civil engineering projects, from the original calculations through to the final costings. Depending on the kind of project and the job that you’re assigned to, your main responsibilities will involve working alongside architects and design engineers.

It’s a varied and exciting job – one day you could be analysing designs, estimating costs and managing invoices from suppliers, the next you could be our visiting building sites and overseeing variations made to designs and job specifications.

You will also be required to find cheaper estimations for all projects and improve the overall value for money whilst ensuring every project meets all legal regulations and requirements. 

What does a quantity surveyor do?

The role of a quantity surveyor is very diverse, so you’ll need to utilise all your skills and abilities to get the job done. You’ll be required to ensure all work in completed on time, to a high standard and within budget, in a fast paced and technical environment.

Everyday tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Liaising with clients and discussing plans to see if the project is achievable
  • Assessing and comparing e-project solutions 
  • Calculating and reducing the costs of a project 
  • Providing advice regarding legal issues and potential risks
  • Working out the length of a project and calculating building material requirements
  • Preparing cost reports including the cash flow
  • Undergoing value and risk management exercises
  • Ensuring subcontractors get paid

What skills does the role require?

To become a Quantity Surveyor, you’ll need to take a relevant qualification approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). A quantity surveying degree is best, but not essential. Other areas of study that have RICS accredited degrees include construction, civil engineering, mathematics or even economics and geography.

There are three main routes you can take to becoming a quantity surveyor, but remember: whatever route you take, you’ll need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence to become a member of RICS (MRICS) before you’re a fully qualified chartered surveyor.

Route 1: Secure a quantity surveying degree or complete a postgraduate conversion from one of the following degrees: construction, mathematics, geography, economics, land studies, civil/structural engineering.

Route 2: Enrol in a quantity surveyor apprenticeship to work alongside experienced professionals and gain skills specific to the role. You’ll also get one day a week off for studies related to your apprenticeship.

Route 3: You could also take a junior role as a surveying technician or surveying assistant while studying to become a quantity surveyor, if you are ineligible for or unable to access an apprenticeship.

How much does a trainee quantity surveyor get paid?

The most recent survey for 2018 stated that trainee quantity surveyors earn £20,000 per annum on average. Find out more about earning potential and the basic salary for quantity surveyors in your area.

Interested in becoming a quantity surveyor? We would love to hear from you.

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