“Take your APC accreditation as early as you can and never be afraid to ask questions.”
Will, Quantity Surveyor
The end result of constructing a building can be an amazing. Have you seen the London skyscrapers? Beautiful. But, not much is seen behind the scenes that makes it all come together. A very important part of a construction project is budgeting. From start to finish, Quantity Surveyors manages the building costs of a project. This can be from the initial designs to the materials that are used.
A Quantity Surveyor may also decide to specialise in areas such as property taxation or funding for instance. However in general, a Quantity Surveyor could be doing the following:
- Meeting with clients to establish building and construction requirements
- Carrying out research and feasibility studies, taking in consideration labour costs, material and time
- Preparing and negotiating costs for tenders and contracts
- Monitoring progress by writing work schedules and ongoing reports
- Cost analysis of maintenance and repair work
- Site visits to ensure materials and equipment meet contract specifications
- Analysing completed work and arranging payments
Key Skills & Characteristics
A Quantity Surveyor should:
- Have sound financial management and numerical skills
- Strong interpersonal skills working with a range of different working backgrounds
- Have excellent communication skills being able to explain financial information in a confident manner
- Be innovative and have the ability to problem solve
- Be accurate and have an attention to detail
- Be patient and dedicated to seeing out a project through issues and complications
To become a Quantity Surveyor you will need a degree, either in the subject of Quantity Surveying or a relevant subject, such as Maths, Construction and so forth. However, the degree of the subject must be accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Meaning, if you’ve graduated from a relevant subject, then you must complete a conversation course accredited by RICS.
Gaining relevant work experience whilst completing the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), is probably the best way forward in becoming a successful Quantity Surveyor as quickly as possible. As Will advises, take your APC accreditation as early as you can.
Will mentions that his degree in Project Management for Construction and the knowledge he obtained from working in builders' merchants, helped him get to the position that he's in today. And of course, just loving construction!
Managing Quantity Surveyor
Advice From Our Experts
“Take your APC accreditation as early as you can and never be afraid to ask questions. Everyone had to learn this line of the work the long and hard way.”
- Will, Quantity Surveyor, on the early stages of your career.
- Variety - Projects are very rarely the same or repetitive
- Opportunity - There is opportunity to work on some buildings in your local area as well as further a field
- Satisfaction - Nothing better than seeing a building you've helped create, used and to be used for many years to come
- Long Hours - Unexpected problems will always occur and can take a long time to resolve
- Paperwork - Can be quite tedious at times
- Communication – Working with so many different people means a lot of people to chase for information