A quantity surveyor has a crucial role in the building and construction industry for many different reasons. Responsible for important aspects of building projects, the role of a quantity surveyor can be to either help the client or the contractor themselves in order to ensure projects are completed properly and on time. A role of this kind can also sometimes be known as a construction cost consultant or a commercial manager. But what does it take to be a quantity surveyor, and how does it all work?

Becoming a quantity surveyor

You must hold the right qualifications in order to become a quantity surveyor. There are university degrees available that specifically teach quantity surveying, but you may also be successful if you have studied construction, civil engineering or structural engineering at degree level.

If you don’t have the relevant degree, you could also have a professional accreditation from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Likewise, if you are a graduate hoping to become a quantity surveyor, you can look into a postgraduate conversion course that is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

On top of having the right qualifications to progress, there are a number of skills required. A logical and practical way of thinking is crucial, alongside strong numeracy skills. The mathematical and financial demands of a quantity surveyor mean that you should possess an innovative mindset and the ability to negotiate.

How a quantity surveyor works

A quantity surveyor is responsible for managing all costs relating to a building or construction job. From the initial estimates of a project to providing value for money for all involved, a quantity surveyor manages the relationships between those involved in a building project.

It’s important that you understand building legislation and have knowledge of different building materials and designs. After all, you could be in charge of a large pot of money that you must control and report on. You could be based in an office but it is most likely you will be working on the construction site itself as well as conducting meetings with those working on the building project.

Responsibilities of a quantity surveyor

A quantity surveyor is of huge importance within the building and construction industry because they are responsible for managing the cost of the project. Taking an active role in the cost analysis of the building work, a quantity surveyor is in charge of advising on potential sites, presenting detailed reports, dealing with legal matters and valuing the completed work.

The quantity surveyor is a helpful asset to builders and contractors as they act as a financial advisor, making sure that no project goes over budget and that all work is carried out according to the regulations that govern the construction industry. It is an incredibly varied role, and with more experience, a quantity surveyor could even offer advice on related topics such as property tax and advise on maintenance costs of buildings too. From initial calculations to the final cost of a building project, a quantity surveyor is there to look after the figures.


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