Quantity surveyors assess and manage the costs of materials and labour for all types of construction projects.
What does a Quantity Surveyor do?
Quantity surveyors assess the cost of materials and labour for all types of construction projects, administer construction contracts and manage costs. Quantity surveyors may also be called cost estimators.
As a quantity surveyor, you would:
- meet with clients, contractors and vendors to gather information for estimates
- use blueprints, plans, design specifications and other relevant documents as source information
- ask for quotes from other contractors or vendors
- confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates
- prepare estimation documents for use in the planning and scheduling of work
- work with sales teams to prepare bids for work
- manage and audit costs during ongoing contracts
- recommend ways to reduce costs.
Key skills and interests
To become a quantity surveyor, you would need:
- excellent numerical skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- a high level of concentration
- to be methodical and logical in your approach to work
- good oral and written communication skills
- IT skills
- able to work independently or as part of a team.
Working hours and conditions
As a quantity surveyor you would usually work a standard numbers of hours per week, with necessary overtime to meet deadlines.
You would be based in an office but spend time undertaking site visits and meeting with construction and project managers, vendors or subcontractors.
How to become an Quantity Surveyor?
Entry Level Education
Quantity surveyors working in the construction industry usually require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area, such as construction management, building science, engineering or quantity surveying.
Roles for cost estimators in other industries will usually require a bachelor’s degree in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, or statistics. It may be possible to find a role with a background in business-related disciplines, such as accounting, finance, and economics.
To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of quantity surveyors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
Demand for quantity surveyors and other cost estimators is expected to be strong because companies need accurate cost projections to ensure that their products and services are profitable. Growth in the construction industry will create the majority of new jobs.