Quantity Surveyor Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Quantity Surveyor, or a Surveyor, manages the cost of construction projects. Their duties include determining client needs, calculating costs and timelines and monitoring construction progress.


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Quantity Surveyor duties and responsibilities

Quantity Surveyors make sure their projects progress efficiently, affordably and safely by assisting in Cost Value Reconciliation (CVR) process and preparing Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS). Some Quantity Surveyors provide specialised advice in construction areas, such as Life Cycle Costing (LCC) for continuous economic appraisal of the project. Their primary duties usually include:

  • Meeting clients to determine their needs and discuss any areas that need revising for price or feasibility
  • Calculating material quantities and costs, labour costs and an achievable project timeframe
  • Negotiating labour contracts and schedules
  • Advising clients and crew on legal matters and disputes
  • Monitoring subcontractors, safety practices, construction progress and material needs, including any changes which may impact costs
  • Preparing labour and supplier accounts for payment
  • Writing reports detailing costs and progress for clients


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What does a Quantity Surveyor do?

Quantity Surveyors develop project budgets and schedules and make sure they’re on track. They also ensure projects run according to health and safety principles, which is important for ensuring that the projects operate legally and without injuries. In addition, Quantity Surveyors help clients manage their cash flow effectively. They help them keep their costs low without compromising on project quality or workplace safety. They also help clients know projected construction timelines so they can plan their finances and contingencies better.


Quantity Surveyor skills and qualifications

Quantity Surveyors use technical and soft skills to help clients receive the best value in their construction projects. They are systematic, organised and have a meticulous work ethic for interpreting architectural drawings and construction plans and making accurate calculations. Construction firms typically hire Quantity Surveyors with the following skills:

  • Verbal and written communication, including active listening for determining client needs, communicating them to the construction crew and preparing reports
  • Mathematics for calculating material quantities and construction costs
  • Customer service for client satisfaction
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving
  • Understanding of engineering science, construction and technology
  • Understanding of current building, health and safety regulations
  • Computer literacy and confidence using office and electronic project management programs


Quantity Surveyor experience requirements

Many employers prefer Quantity Surveyors with at least three years of experience in a similar role. However, people can become Quantity Surveyors without this experience. Working in similar positions, such as Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Surveying Technician or Surveying Assistant can equip candidates with many transferrable skills. Some employers also consider skilled people who’ve worked in construction or property maintenance.


Quantity Surveyor education and training requirements

Most Quantity Surveyors have a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offers a postgraduate conversion course that can help interested applicants get the qualifications they need. Degrees in construction, structural engineering and civil engineering are also valuable. People can even take the conversion course after completing a degree in maths, geography, land studies or economics. Candidates interested in quantity surveying who haven’t taken their A levels could get a surveying technician advanced apprenticeship or construction quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship instead.


Quantity Surveyor salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Quantity Surveyor is £46,290 per year. Salaries may vary depending on experience, education, location and employer.


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Quantity Surveyor job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Quantity Surveyor and a Building Surveyor?

Quantity Surveyors oversee the financial aspects of construction. Their advice makes sure new construction projects are of good value for money for their clients. Building Surveyors provide technical advice about construction projects instead. They may work with new projects, but they usually assess existing structures, such as heritage buildings.


What qualities do successful Quantity Surveyors have?

Quantity Surveyors are logical people who pay attention to the details. Their thorough nature helps them identify cost savings for their clients. They can also recognise potentially expensive challenges on a construction site and solve them for the best financial outcomes. They are personable people who are comfortable talking to a range of clients and construction workers. They work well to deadlines and have good initiative and self-motivation, which helps them work efficiently on their own.


What should you look for in a Quantity Surveyor CV?

Try to find qualifications such as Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying or bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an apprenticeship or industry experience in a Quantity Surveyor role. Check for candidates who are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). As these candidates have passed through the Assessment of Professional Competence program, they are usually well qualified for your position. For experienced candidates, you can look for any specialisations such as funding, facilities management or subcontracting.

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