Job descriptions and industry overviews

Quantity surveyor

30 Jan 2024, 10:58

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

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Job description

Quantity surveyors are considered the economists of the construction industry and are also referred to as a construction cost consultants. Quantity surveyors manage all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects. Likely projects in Ireland include the development and construction of major projects, such as residential and retail development, office buildings, schools, hospitals, bridges, roads and sewerage.

Quantity surveyors and construction economists, sometimes known as construction cost consultants, work for either the client or contractor and can be based in an office or on site. Their role is to manage all costs relating to construction projects from initial design calculations to the final account, seeking to minimise costs and enhance value for money, while achieving the required standards and quality.

These roles are fundamental to the success of any construction related project, all the way through from project initiation to completion of the job. All aspects of the project need to be correctly costed and financially sustainable. If the costings are too restrictive, the project’s overall quality could suffer, if they are too generous, funds could be exhausted before the project is completed, so it’s a question of balance and being realistic about what can be achieved by analysing the timeframe in which it is expected that the project be completed and the available funding for the project.

Work activities

  • Researching and preparing construction budgets for a range of construction and construction related projects
  • Planning the costs of each phase of the project to ensure value for money and sustainability in terms of the overall project
  • Advising both contractors and state agencies on costing related matters for various construction projects
  • Advising on choosing contractors and procurement processes
  • Administering the costs during the project for both contractor and other related parties, such as the client
  • Negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Taxation and funding advice

Throughout Ireland and indeed the European Union, proper accountability for construction projects is imperative. By properly advising clients and contractors, quantity surveyors and construction economists can help ensure on time, and in budget, completion of projects.

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).


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