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What is a Quantity Surveyor? Salary, Skills Required, & Role

Construction project costs are overseen by a quantity surveyor. They aid in ensuring that the building project is finished within the budget that has been planned or estimated.


You are in charge of overseeing every element of the contractual and financial side of construction projects as a quantity surveyor.


No matter if you work for consulting quantity surveying firms, real estate development firms, contractors, or public sector organizations, there are crucial abilities necessary for successful quantity surveying.


In this post, we are going to tackle what a quantity surveyor does, the salary, and the skills required for the role.


What is a Quantity Surveyor? 


In a construction project, a quantity surveyor is a person who determines how much material will be required and how much it will cost. They ensure that buildings adhere to ethical and legal requirements.


At every level of a project, quantity surveyors are involved. Customers depend on them to provide value for money in the finished product whether they are working on residential, commercial, or industrial projects. 


What Does a Quantity Surveyor Do?


You will have to assist in estimating prices, numbers,  project timeframes, and provide a quantity surveyor report, as a quantity surveyor and then communicate this information to clients. You will communicate with numerous different teams and aid in maintaining the progress of a project.


A quantity surveyor’s employment entails the following responsibilities:


  • coordinating with customers to determine their needs
  • calculating the amounts, prices, and timelines for the use of materials and labour
  • creating documentation for bids and contracts
  • recognizing and evaluating commercial risks
  • subcontracting labour to others
  • valuing finished products, controlling spending, and monitoring payments
  • ensuring that projects adhere to the law and high standards
  • making sure that customers receive value for their money
  • providing guidance on the maintenance costs of particular structures
  • delivering routine budget reports
  • observing health and safety standards and building codes
  • working in an office, on a building site, or at a client’s business


How to Get Into the Field of Quantity Surveying

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There are various paths one can take to become a quantity surveyor. An apprenticeship or a course at a university can help you get the credentials you need. You might be able to apply straight to an employer or get training on the job if you already have suitable experience. To determine which choice is best for you, you need to investigate your possibilities.


To work on a construction site, you might need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.


Graduate or university training programmes


You could earn a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying or a related field, like:


  • construction
  • building engineering
  • structural engineering
  • maths
  • geography
  • economics
  • land or urban studies


You could finish a postgraduate conversion course if you already have a first degree in an unrelated field. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIB) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) should accredit this (CIOB).


Through a graduate trainee programme with a construction or surveying company, you could obtain a postgraduate surveying qualification. Postgraduate distance learning courses are available through the University College of Estate Management.




  • 2–3 A levels, or the equivalent (undergraduate course)
  • a first-class degree in any field (postgraduate course)




An effective entry point into the sector is an apprenticeship with a construction company. Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible for an apprenticeship. You will have a full-time job with your employer as an apprentice, and you must put in at least 30 hours per week. Your time will be divided between a college or training facility and on-the-job training.


Your career path as a quantity surveyor would begin with an advanced apprenticeship as a surveying technician.




5 GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and math, with marks ranging from 9 to 4 (A* to C) (advanced apprenticeship)

A level (or similar) and four to five GCSEs (or equivalent) in grades nine to four (A* to C) (degree apprenticeship)




You might be eligible to enrol in part-time studies to become a quantity surveyor if you have relevant expertise in a related field of work, like accounting.

Working experience:


Gaining a job in the construction business requires work experience. You could learn this in school, at a company or from a relative who is a quantity surveyor by working weekends and holidays. Any prospective employer will be happy to see employment experience on your resume.


Top 5 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Quantity Surveyor 

man in orange and black jacket and blue denim jeans standing on brown grass field during

  • Numeracy


The majority of a quantity surveyor’s time is spent estimating a project’s cost to make sure it is manageable before work begins, and then monitoring the project’s progress to make sure it is staying on schedule and will be completed. Excellent arithmetic and budgeting abilities are prerequisites for being a quantity surveyor, but you also need to genuinely enjoy dealing with numbers. This isn’t the job for you if pages of costs and numbers make you sick.


  • Excel abilities


One of the essential Quantity Surveyor skills include the ability to utilise all available IT, including programmes like Excel, to its fullest potential. Utilizing the available software expedites the procedure and aids in ensuring pricing correctness. The ability to process data and generate thorough reports can be what distinguishes good surveyors from outstanding surveyors in a time-sensitive industry. 


  • Great in negotiating


A vital talent for a quantity surveyor is the capacity for negotiation. It can assist the business or the client save time, money, or materials, which will ultimately result in a better result. You may aid your client by obtaining the best possible bargain by being well-informed, a skilled negotiator, and an authority in your field. It can take some time to gain the experience necessary for negotiation, but once you do, you’ll be able to benefit both your team and your career.


  • Stakeholder management


Like in many other businesses, and particularly in real estate, the connections we make can frequently result in improved performance. Client loyalty can be ensured by developing long-lasting relationships based on trust and excellence. 


You will be in the greatest possible position to assist and advise your clients, outperforming your rivals, by managing a range of stakeholders and relationships and comprehending the needs and goals of your clients. The choice isn’t always made based on price. When a client makes a decision, a nice experience, excellent communication, and quality delivery are all equally crucial.


  • Focus on small or big details


To succeed as a quantity surveyor, you must be meticulous and methodical in your approach to your work. You may anticipate that your work will be carefully examined to ensure that it complies with the law, is lawful, and follows the contract. Make sure nothing is overlooked that could end up costing your employer or client money or time.


Success and failure can be determined by one’s ability to pay attention to details and have the patience to scroll through the paperwork. Additionally, you must be paying attention to the project as a whole and planning ahead to identify any issues.


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