Quantity surveyors oversee construction projects, managing risks and controlling costs.
Salary Range: £18,000 to £80,000
How to become a quantity surveyor
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- a graduate training scheme
You could do a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Useful degree subjects include:
- structural or civil engineering
- land studies
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could take a surveying technician advanced apprenticeship, followed by further training on the job, or a chartered surveyor or construction quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
You could start work as a surveying technician or surveying assistant, and study part time to become a quantity surveyor.
You could get a postgraduate surveying qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.
- you can register with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to become a chartered surveyor through the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) scheme
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- analytical thinking skills
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- persistence and determination
- knowledge of building and construction
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- finding out a client’s needs and assessing if their plans are feasible
- working out quantities and costs of materials, time and labour for tenders
- negotiating contracts and work schedules
- advising on legal matters, including risks and disputes
- monitoring sub-contractors and stages of construction
- writing regular reports on costs and preparing accounts for payment
- keeping up to date with construction methods and materials
- following health and safety and building regulations
You could work at a client’s business or in an office.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a senior quantity surveyor or move into senior project management, supply chain management, consultancy work or self-employment.
You could specialise in areas like planning, risk assessment or contract disputes.
Another option is to move into lecturing at a university or college.