Quantity surveyor

Manages all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects.

Job description

Quantity surveyors are considered the economists of the construction industry and are also referred to as a construction cost consultants.

A quantity surveyor is central to the decision-making process throughout the development of a project, from initial inception to final completion. They advise building owners and architects on the probable cost of construction schemes and on the costs of alternative designs. They prepare cost plans for projects which enable the design team to arrive at practical designs for projects and to stay within budget.

They can also act as project managers and are major contributors to the success of all types of projects in all sectors of the industry, including healthcare, education, public buildings, retail and commercial, residential, leisure and infrastructure projects.

Work activities

  • Prepare cost analysis based on the architectural drawings, engineering estimates, materials required and labour involved
  • Prepare cost plans to enable design teams to produce practical designs for construction projects, which involves liaising with architects, engineers and subcontractors.
  • Prepare tender and contract documents, including bills of quantities
  • Evaluate tenders from contractors and subcontractors and, where appropriate, negotiate with the contractors.
  • Control all stages of projects within predetermined budget and expenditure.
  • Monitor and keep track of project progress and are responsible for the measurement and valuation of variations in the work during the contract, for agreement of interim payments and the final account.
  • Work as part of a team to ensure that the requirements of the client are delivered.

Professional bodies

Upon completion of diploma and degree courses, graduates are eligible to commence the process leading to qualification as a chartered surveyor and full membership of both the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). See the relevant sections of the SCS and RICS websites for accredited courses and for information about the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).