How to Become a Quantity Surveyor

Whether you've always had your heart set on being a Quantity Surveyor or whether you've never heard of this occupation but have always wanted to have a good job in the construction industry, this article may be of some help to you!


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    Understand the Duties of a Quantity Surveyor. The first step in becoming a QS(Quantity Surveyor) is to understand what role a Quantity Surveyor plays in the construction industry. Many people, when asked what a Quantity Surveyor is will just give the reply "They survey quantities". In actual fact they perform various roles including managing the costs and finances of a project, calculating quantities eg. how many bricks will be needed for a house, advising clients on procurement routes and deciding which contractor does a particular project once tender documentation is received.
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    Realise the Differences in Types of Surveying. Quantity Surveying is a different profession altogether from Building Surveying. Building Surveyors offer professional advice on many areas relating to the occupation and construction of property, from the design of modern structures to facilities management. Building Surveyors' play a part in the diagnosis and remedy of building faults, rehabilitation and extension of buildings, detailed building surveys, property appraisals, and the management of property. This is different from Quantity Surveying as the tasks in Step 1 show a Quantity Surveyor's duties. Also, Land Surveying is different from Quantity Surveying as Land Surveying focuses on the measurement and calculation of the natural and build environments .
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    Differentiate between the two types of Quantity Surveying. These consist of a Private Practise QS who works with a QS organisation in an office and advises clients as well as constructing a Bill of Quantities for different Contractors on different projects. In a Private Practise the Quantity Surveyor has a close relationship with different Architects and Clients. The other type of Quantity Surveying is a Contractor's QS where the QS works for the same contractor on different projects that they have and is used to produce Bills of Quantities for this Contractor.
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    Decide if Quantity Surveying is your desired career based on Steps 1 and 2. Step 3 is a choice made once you are qualified, but I feel it is important you are aware of the difference now. If you have always wanted to become a QS then you will be aware that the best subjects to do at school are subjects such as Maths, Physics, English and Computing. If you have left school and can get into college to do even just a one year course in Quantity Surveying or a variety of construction careers just to get a feel of which one you like, you have a high chance of being accepted as a direct entry student in university.
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    Attend a University to study to become a Quantity Surveyor. Some companies who have Quantity Surveyors may be willing to take on trainees with one or two days per week spent at university. Another option is either to go straight to university as part of a full time course or direct entry as previously mentioned. The university course most people do is around 4 years full time and fees will differ depending on the country you live in.
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    Get a Job as a Quantity Surveyor. This may be quite a difficult task depending on where you live as QS organisations are mostly in cities if it is a private practise. However, with the current state of the economy the Contractors are not as tied for money as Private practises. The Quantity Surveyor is one of the top ten most available careers according to a British newspaper. Additionally, there are many jobs abroad available for this career and for some reason which is unknown to me, it seems a more available career in British ruled countries such as Australia and Canada.


  • If its your goal to become a QS keep working to get your degree, its worth it eventually
  • Have a good CV prepared to apply

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Categories: Tradesman Occupations