Quantity surveyor

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

Potential salary
£18,000 to £80,000
Working hours
37 to 40 a week
  • 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
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

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 may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a client's business or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

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.

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

Data from National Careers Service.
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