What Is A Quantity Surveyor & How Can You Become One Too

In this article will be explaining what a quantity surveyor is, the roles and responsibilities and how you can become a quantity surveyor too.

So, what is a Quantity Surveyor? Usually at Metroun, we study many resources online and physical books to give you the best and most up to date information, but whilst doing this video, we discovered that the explanation of what a quantity surveyor is, is actually a little confusing. 

So, we decided to tell you in the most simple and easy to understand way.

“A Quantity Surveyor is a professional within the construction industry, concerned with cost, procurement, and contracts.” 

To make it even more simple, the main reason a company would hire a quantity surveyor is to accurately manage the cost on a project. And if managed correctly, a quantity surveyor should more than pay for themselves through the savings they make. 

If you are a QS, you are probably shouting at the screen saying, “that’s not all we do”. And you’d be right, the roles and responsibilities of a quantity surveyor exceed more than just ensuring the cost on a project is managed.

A normal day for a quantity surveyor may include;

  • Estimating or forecasting the cost of labour, plant, and material required for a project
  • Preparing tender documents, contracts, budgets, bills of quantities and other documentation
  • Tracking changes to the design or method of working and adjusting budget projections accordingly
  • Procuring or agreeing on the services of contractors or subcontractors who work on the construction of the project
  • Measuring and valuing the work completed on-site
  • Issuing payments to subcontractors
  • Liaising with the client and other construction professionals, such as site managers, project managers and site engineers
  • Selecting and sourcing construction materials

Now you know what a quantity surveyor is as well as what they would do on a normal day, how can you become a quantity surveyor. Although not true in all cases, the majority of individuals fall into one of the following 2 categories. 

1. Obtaining a Degree. Here you would study quantity surveying in university usually spanning over 3 years. The major advantage of this route is that you would be a fully qualified quantity surveyor at a very early age, potentially by the age of 21. The major disadvantage is the cost. You would have to spend £9,000 a year to study this degree in the UK. You would also not gain onsite experience unless you take a placement year between your degree.

2. Apprenticeship or part-time degree – Here a company would hire you and pay for your education. The degree is usually 5 years instead of 3 as you’d be studying a part-time. The main advantage is that the company is paying your degree and you will also be gaining valuable on-site experience. The biggest disadvantage is that you would have to juggle you work life, personal life, and educational life all at once which can be very stressful. Please take note that if you do decide to go down this route, the company would usually set a clause in your contract which states that you will need to stay with the company for a set amount of years after you’ve finished your degree or pay back the cost to your employer. This means that if the contract stipulates 3 years and the degree takes 5 years, you will have to stay with this company for 8 years in order to get the degree free of charge.

We’d love to hear your story on how you became a quantity surveyor or if you’re still in the process, on what made you choose this career path?

Why not watch our video on this topic below:

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