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How to Become a Quantity Surveyor

If you are considering becoming a Quantity Surveyor it is advisable to first establish what is a quantity surveyor.

The work and services provided by the Quantity Surveyor in the construction industry may be defined as the financial management of the construction project, whether it be on behalf of the client or the contractor.

What is a Quantity Surveyor

The work of quantity surveyors in private practice (ie. clients side) can be summarized as follows:-

  • Initial cost advice and feasibility studies
  • Budget estimating
  • Cost planning including investment appraisal
  • Procurement advice
  • Contractual advice
  • Preparation of tender and contract documentation i.e. bills of quantities, schedules of rates etc
  • Evaluation of tenders
  • Tender reports and recommendations
  • Cost control
  • Valuing and agreeing variations
  • Valuation of work in progress
  • Payment recommendation
  • Negotiating & agreement of final accounts

Quantity Surveying services which can be provided to building contractors include:-

  • Estimating/Tendering
  • Bills of Quantities preparation
  • Preparation and submission of tenders
  • Negotiating tenders
  • Interim valuations and agreeing payments
  • Valuing & agreeing variations
  • Cost control & reporting during the construction stage
  • Negotiating & agreement of final accounts

Types of Quantity Surveyors

There are several different types or areas within which surveyors can work within the construction industry and these include:

  • Public sector
  • Private professional practice PQS,
  • Contractor or sub-contractor,
  • Developer,
  • Legal or financial institution.

A career as a Quantity Surveyor in the construction industry can be very challenging and demanding but the rewards are generally significant. It is generally regarded that there are many advantages to be gained from becoming a QS within the construction industry.

Benefits of becoming a Quantity Surveyor include:

  • Participating in construction projects that make a huge difference to the industry and the built environment.
  • As a professional in demand, being able to select in which sector you wish to work – the public sector, private professional practice PQS, contractor or sub-contractor, developer, legal or financial institution.
  • Being involved in a diverse range of different types of projects from major civil engineering to general building construction of hotels, retail and commercial, residential, hospitals and education facilities to office blocks and factories.
  • Enjoying a career that is not totally ‘office based’.
  • Annual salary is generally excellent with company car, mobile phone, expenses and good bonuses also provided by many employers.
  • Working with other professionals such as architects and engineers to deliver the project successfully for the client.
  • Progress to become a Chartered Quantity Surveyor which has added advantages including greater salary, higher success in securing employment and in setting up your own quantity surveying business.

Having established the required knowledge with regards to what exactly a surveyor does, the different types of quantity surveyors and the benefits of becoming a QS you should now be in a much better position to make the decision on whether or not this is the best job for you.

Quantity Surveyor Courses and University

Having decided that Quantity Surveying is the correct choice and career path for you the next step would be to attend:

  • College for one or two years course in Quantity Surveying or construction studies,
  • University for part or full time course in Quantity Surveying, usually 3 to 4 years duration.

If you attend college initially and undertake a one or two year course in construction studies or a related course which leads to entering university to do a Quantity Surveying degree it will make the process of gaining entry into university to study Quantity Surveying a lot easier. This way you can decide at the end of the college course if Quantity Surveying is for you or not.

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