The Role of a Quantity Surveyor

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What is a Quantity Surveyor

A quantity surveyor's role is to manage the costs relating to building and engineering 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 and regulations.

What duties does a Quantity surveyor have:

  • 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

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What qualifications do you need to become a Quantity Surveyor?

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.

What skills do you need to become a Quantity Surveyor?

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

What career opportunities are there for Quantity Surveyors?

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. Find out more about working in Dubai 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. Find out more about the role of a project manager here.

What is the average Quantity Surveyor salary?

  • New entrants can expect to earn between £21,000 and £29,000 per year

  • With experience typical salaries at senior level rise to £38,000 to £54,000 per year

  • Senior chartered quantity surveyors can earn between £80,000 to £90,000 per year

Figures intended as a guideline only

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