Quantity surveyor

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Quantity surveyors oversee construction projects, managing risks and controlling costs.

Salary Range: £18,000 to £80,000

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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

University

You could do a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Useful degree subjects include:

  • construction
  • structural or civil engineering
  • maths
  • geography
  • economics
  • land studies

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

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Apprenticeship

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.

Entry requirements

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

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Work

You could start work as a surveying technician or surveying assistant, and study part time to become a quantity surveyor.

Other routes

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.

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Registration

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a quantity surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Go Construct.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

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.

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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.