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Quantity surveyor: job description

Quantity surveyor: job description

Quantity surveyors are responsible for managing all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects.
There is currently a shortage of professionally qualified quantity surveyors.

What does a quantity surveyor do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Quantity surveyors perform a wide variety of tasks throughout the complete life cycle of a construction project.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • seeking funding sources and submitting bids
  • carrying out feasibility studies
  • preparing plans, contracts, budgets, bills of quantities and other documentation
  • performing risk analysis evaluations
  • cost control
  • writing reports
  • preparing and submitting final accounts
  • making valuations
  • arranging payments to suppliers and contractors
  • providing advice and forecasts about costs
  • supervising staff.

Typical employers of quantity surveyors

  • Private practices
  • Civil and structural engineering contractors
  • Local and central government
  • Architects
  • Housing associations
  • Commercial organisations
  • Construction companies.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, specialist recruitment agencies and in national and local newspapers and a range of relevant publications. These include Property Week, Estates Gazette, BuildingThe Valuer and Opportunities.

Useful publications include RICS Chartered Surveyors Regional Directories, RICS Yearbook, and TARGETjobs Property. Many employers offer opportunities for overseas work.

Qualifications and training required

Qualification as a chartered quantity surveyor necessitates obtaining a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited qualification. A minimum of two years' vocational experience is also required, part of which can be obtained via relevant placements or vacation work.

Graduates with non-accredited degrees must normally gain at least three years' relevant experience. It pays to apply early for vacancies and make the most of networking opportunities. Speculative approaches to employers are also a good route into this area of work.

Key skills for chartered surveyors

  • Commitment
  • Excellent verbal and written English
  • Independence
  • Teamworking skills
  • Strong numerical and IT skills

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