A quantity surveyor is a cost engineer or a project controls manager for a construction company. Their primary responsibilities are to estimate construction costs and make sure the project stays within budget. As a quantity surveyor, your job duties include providing this estimate based on the measurements provided in the building blueprints and the materials needed, negotiating contracts to best fit your budget, providing advice on sourcing materials, and preparing documents like the Bill of Quantities (BOQ), Tender Document, and Order of Magnitude. Other aspects of your job include insurance valuation, project management, and dispute resolution. You primarily work in an office, but site visits are a necessary part of the career.
How to Become a Quantity Surveyor
To pursue a career as a quantity surveyor, you need strong mathematical and analytical skills. The qualifications for the job include a bachelor’s degree in construction management, construction science, or building science. While in school, you should take elective classes in basic carpentry and electrical work so that you have first-hand experience with the materials and processes of the construction industry. You should also look for internship opportunities. After graduation, you are qualified to work as an assistant quantity surveyor. Gain experience in this role before applying for the more advanced position. Professional licensure is optional, but certification through an organization like the Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International demonstrates your qualifications to your employer
Can You Be a Quantity Surveyor Without a Degree?
Although most quantity surveyors have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, becoming a quantity surveyor without a degree is possible. Instead of getting a formal education, you must gain related work experience instead. You may start out working in construction, architecture, or project management and shift into a quantity surveyor role once you have gained enough experience and developed the skills to carry out the job duties of a cost engineer. You need background knowledge about construction materials, building technology, and business contracts.
How to Be a Good Quantity Surveyor
Having a strong work ethic and keen mind are qualities that will help you be a good quantity surveyor. You must be a logical thinker who puts practicality above all else. You need excellent math and financial skills so that you can make sound decisions for your cost estimates and proposals. Additionally, you need exceptional communication and negotiation skills to make sure the client and construction crew agree on materials and costs and to ensure that the project stays on track. A good quantity surveyor keeps the project on time and under budget.
Is Quantity Surveyor a Good Job?
A career as a quantity surveyor is a good job if you are interested in numbers, negotiation, and construction. You get to be involved in construction projects from start to finish without having to do manual labor. You get to spend time on project sites, but your time on-site and outdoors balances out with the time that you work in an office doing research and crunching numbers. As a quantity surveyor, you are a management level employee in the construction industry.
Where Can a Quantity Surveyor Work?
As a quantity surveyor, you can work in the public sector or the private sector. Government agencies at all levels hire quantity surveyors to help manage construction projects on the agency’s behalf. The role of quantity surveyor is crucial for governments that must spend taxpayer money responsibly. In the private sector, you may specialize your quantity surveyor services in residential construction, commercial infrastructure, or sustainable building. However, you need between two to five years of experience as an intern or assistant quantity surveyor before you take on a leadership role. This work primarily takes place in an office.
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