What Is a Quantity Surveyor? Job Description, Skills and Salary

Date: 21 Sep 2022

The lack of quantity surveyors in the UK is leaving clients and contractors unhappy. At least 50% of the construction companies in the UK have reported that they can’t find the right quantity surveyor for their project. This has resulted in delays, missed deadlines, and even site closures.

The situation is getting worse as the demand for new homes increases while the number of qualified quantity surveyors remains static.

While this is discouraging news for the rest of the United Kingdom, your career will benefit from it. If you want to become a quantity surveyor in the UK, there are more job opportunities than ever before. You just need the proper skills and training.

Here, we’ll explain the duties of a quantity surveyor, how much they earn, and where they can work. Read on to see if this is the right career path for you.

What Is a Quantity Surveyor?

A quantity surveyor is a professional who uses their technical knowledge and experience to estimate the cost of building projects. Quantity surveyors work closely with architects and engineers, as well as builders and other professionals involved in the construction process. They are responsible for ensuring that a project meets its budget and specifications while maintaining quality standards.

Quantity Surveyor Job Description

Quantity surveyors are responsible for the quality of their client’s construction projects. As a quantity surveyor, you’re expected to:

  • Evaluate client needs and make recommendations on how to meet those needs
  • Calculate material quantities and expenses, as well as time and labour expenditures
  • Bring on subcontractors to carry out tasks
  • Determine the worth of finished work
  • Manage budgets and supervise payments
  • Assuring that projects adhere to legal and quality criteria
  • Negotiate employment contracts and timetables
  • Expense reporting and account preparation
  • Monitor subcontractors and construction phases
  • Maintain current knowledge of building procedures and materials
  • Offer advice on legal issues such as risks and conflicts
  • Adhere to health, safety, and building codes
These are just a few of the many duties that a quantity surveyor may be responsible for. The specific tasks will vary from one project to another, depending on the size and type of construction job. The more complex or large-scale the project is, the more responsibilities you can expect to have.

Quantity Surveyor Skills

A good quantity surveyor must be meticulous and possess excellent organisational skills. These are essential for keeping track of the many details involved in planning, estimating, and supervising construction projects.

Other skills you’ll need include:

  • A logical mind
  • Clear communication
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Maths and analytical expertise
  • The ability to work independently
  • Understanding of building construction
  • Knowledge of construction materials
  • IT skills, particularly in Word and Excel

Quantity Surveyor Qualifications

To become a chartered quantity surveyor, you must hold an accredited RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) degree in quantity surveying. The course should take at least three years to complete and give you the experience of working as a quantity surveyor.

If you don’t have a degree, you can still become a chartered surveyor, but it will take about 5 years to do so. You must join an RICS-approved apprenticeship where you’ll work as a trainee quantity surveyor. During your time, you’ll attend classes to gain theoretical knowledge.

There are over 300 surveying courses at UK colleges that have been accredited by RICS, so you’ll have no problem finding one that suits you.

Quantity Surveyor Training

In addition to your degree, you’ll have to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). If you’re taking a Chartered Surveying Degree Apprenticeship, then you’ve already satisfied this criterion.

If not, you’ll need to earn 2 years of postgraduate experience before you can qualify for the APC.

Quantity Surveyor Salary

As a quantity surveyor, you can expect to earn between £21,000 and £28,000 as an apprentice. After completing your apprenticeship, you may earn as much as £45,000 annually. Experienced quantity surveyors can earn up to £80,000.

Quantity Surveyor Jobs UK

Quantity surveyors are an essential part of any construction project and a range of other industries. Most job opportunities are in the construction industry, but there are also opportunities for quantity surveyors in manufacturing, engineering, and IT.

The most common quantity surveyor jobs include:

Professional Quantity Surveyor

A professional quantity surveyor ensures that construction projects run smoothly and that the client receives value for money. They handle a broad variety of operations, such as cost planning and feasibility studies. This is the most common type of surveyor that you’ll see on a project.

Contractor Quantity Surveyor

A contractor quantity surveyor manages the costs and profitability of a project. They are typically employed by contractors, property developers and architects, who use them to ensure that they complete projects on time and within budget.

As opposed to a professional quantity surveyor, this role focuses on keeping the project within budget rather than controlling costs.

How to Become a Quantity Surveyor

To become a quantity surveyor, you need to have at least a degree in quantity surveying, with experience working in the field. You may also get into this industry with knowledge gained from an apprenticeship.

Once you graduate, consider contacting a recruitment agency. This opens you up to an enormous network of potential employers and can give you access to opportunities that other candidates might not be privy to.

Secure a Job as a Quantity Surveyor

There’s a tremendous demand for quantity surveyors in both the UK and abroad, so if you want to work in this field—whether it’s near or far from home—contact the SSA group. Our London-based recruitment agency can put your career on course!

We’re experts in the construction industry, and we know what it takes to get a job with a high-paying company. We’ll help you find a position that matches your skills and experience, and we’ll work hard to ensure that your next employer is one where you will thrive.
Image 1 Blog
A Guide to Finding Quantity Surveyor Jobs in London
21 Jul 2023
TOP 10 SKILLS 1 Blog
Top 10 Skills That Construction Recruiters Look for in Candidates in 2023
24 May 2023
Site Engineer Job Interview Blog
Site Engineer Jobs: 7 Ways to Make an Impression During the Interview
28 Apr 2023