- Also known as
- Video: - Mark: Quantity Surveyor
- Video: - Rhona: Trainee Quantity Surveyor
- Video: - Partner : Sam
- Video: - Donny: Equity Partner
- Work Activities
- Personal Qualities and Skills
- Pay and Opportunities
- Entry Routes and Training
- Adult Opportunities
- Further Information
Quantity surveyors work out the cost of building projects, taking into account labour, materials, taxes and maintenance costs.
The work can also include making sure that jobs are completed on time, co-ordinating all the people involved and acting as a link with the client.
Also known as
- Surveyor, Quantity
- Project Quantity Surveyor
- Managing Quantity Surveyor
- Construction Cost Consultant
Video: - Mark: Quantity Surveyor
Video: - Rhona: Trainee Quantity Surveyor
Video: - Partner : Sam
Video: - Donny: Equity Partner
As a Quantity Surveyor, you will use an Architect's or Civil Engineer's design to work out the cost of constructing buildings ranging from hospitals, schools and prisons to factories, docks and airports.
Quantity Surveyors have to consider the cost of things like labour, materials, taxes, and the likely maintenance costs. You are always trying to achieve best value from contractors and suppliers.
Private practice and central and local government Quantity Surveyors are usually office-based and work from a fixed location.
You use Architect's plans to make an initial estimate of the cost of a project. You then produce a more detailed breakdown of costs and quantities known as the Bill of Quantities. You send this to Building Contractors so they can work out their bids for the project.
Finally, you assess the bids they receive so that you and the client can decide who to give the project to. Local and Central Government Quantity Surveyors also control spending for ongoing programmes, making the best use of budgets and balancing maintenance against new construction work.
Commercial Quantity Surveyors are employed by Building and Civil Engineering contractors. You prepare bids for construction work, and make sure that work is completed on time, to the required standard. You assess the effect of any changes to the project or disruption in work and discuss it with the client's Quantity Surveyor.
Commercial Quantity Surveyors are usually based on construction sites and may need to move around the country for projects.
Many safety regulations apply to the construction industry. For example, a hard hat must be worn on construction sites.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Quantity Surveyor, you'll need:
- a good standard of numeracy
- IT skills
- to be able to interpret technical drawings and architects' plans
- report-writing skills
- the confidence to negotiate and the initiative to make your own decisions
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £28,500 - £34,500
- With experience: £38,500 - £45,500
- Senior Quantity Surveyors earn £48,500 - £55,000
Hours of work
Most work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. However, you may have early starts and late finishes, and you may need to work some weekends.
Where could I work?
- central and local government
- construction and property companies
- specialist surveying companies
- industrial and commercial organisations
Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.
Opportunities occur for Quantity Surveyors to work as independent consultants or in a private practice.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.
GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:
Entry Routes and Training
The most direct route into this career is to study an accredited degree in quantity surveying, or a closely-related subject. The most widely recognised qualifications are offered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).
You don't always need a degree related to surveying to become a Quantity Surveyor. Degrees in other subjects will often be acceptable. People with communication and business skills are highly sought after by this profession.
There are a small number of HNCs and HNDs available in the UK in subjects related to surveying. These courses can be used as routes into full degrees, or possibly into a junior-level position within a company/organisation.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
It may also be possible to go into this career straight from school and study while in a job.
Some people enter this career from an Advanced, Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship.
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
You need a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card to work on site. These cards show that you are qualified to do the work you've been employed for.
CSCS cards will cost £36 and you will have to pass the appropriate Construction Industry Training Board health, safety and environmental test. This costs £21. You will then complete an application form and pay the total price of £57.
The CSCS application form has four sections that you will have to complete:
- section A: This section is where you complete your personal details and attach a passport photo or your Health, Safety & Environment Test photo
- section B: This is where you fill in your occupation details and state which card you need. The different cards are skilled, craft and operative cards.
- section C: This a declaration section where your current employer, previous employer or a CSCS card holder will declare that you meet the requirements of the card
- section D: This is the details of your card requirements and what evidence you need to get a CSCS card
Previous experience working in a planning or contruction position would be really useful for you to become a Quantity Surveyor.
Following the education stage, you will receive training on-the-job. To become a fully qualified member of the RICS, you'll need to undertake at least two years' structured learning whilst in employment. Full members of the RICS are given chartered status. This is the highest level of competence in a profession.
There are a number of postgraduate courses related to surveying available in the UK.
Experienced Quantity Surveyors can move into senior roles, such as Chief Quantity Surveyor. Some Quantity Surveyors become self-employed.
To get onto an Advanced or Higher Level Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least five GCSEs at A*-C (9-4), including English and maths, and possibly two A Levels.
To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.
To enter a suitable accredited degree course in Quantity Surveying, you will usually need:
- 2/3 A levels
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in your A level subjects
- a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths
Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:
- BTEC level 3 qualification
- the International Baccalaureate Diploma
However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check university prospectuses for more details.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Successful late entrants often have relevant skills gained at technician level. For example, you can progress as a technical member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
A background in planning or construction is also useful.
If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.
These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.
If you are a graduate without an accredited degree, you can take a two-year postgraduate conversion course in surveying. Preference may be given to those with a related degree subject such as construction or building.
The College of Estate Management offers a degree in Quantity Surveying, by distance learning.
Sponsorship for study at higher education level is available from the larger construction companies.
Some people enter this career via a Surveying Advanced Level Apprenticeship. This can lead to assistant quantity surveyor roles.
- 16% of quantity surveyors are self-employed.
- 12% work part-time.
- 5% have flexible hours.
- 3% of employees work on a temporary basis.
Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:
- To support their members.
- To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.
The main ones for this career are the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Building.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Local government vacancies
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies
Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
Address: Englemere, Kings Ride, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7TB
Tel: 01344 630700
Skills for the construction industry
Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH
National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)
Address: Carthusian Court, 12 Carthusian Street, London EC1M 6EZ
Tel: 01342 326171
Northern Ireland Enquiries
Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR
Tel: 028 9082 5466
Construction Employers Federation (CEF)
Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU
Tel: 028 9087 7143
Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH
Tel: 0844 5768777
Tel: 0344 994 4010
Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP
Tel: 01923 260000
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Address: RICS HQ, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3AD
Tel: 0870 3331600
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland
Address: 9 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7DN
Tel: 0131 2257078
Chartered Surveyors Training Trust (CSTT)
Address: 6-8 Gunnery Terrace, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SW
Tel: 020 7871 0454
University College of Estate Management (UCEM)
Address: Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AW
Tel: 0800 0199697
Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
Address: Dominion House, Sibson Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 7PP
Tel: 0161 9723100
Surveying Your Future?
Publisher: Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
QSi for Quantity Surveyors
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844