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Career profile: Quantity surveyor

Career profile: Quantity surveyorWhat is a quantity surveyor?

Quantity surveyors manage the costs of building projects, from planning to completion. This includes:

  • Estimating costs
  • Monitoring the project to make sure that the costs are as expected
  • Working out the financial impact of any changes to the project
  • Reporting and advising on all of these areas

Quantity surveyors also help to prepare contracts for the work, identify potential business risks and communicate with clients to make sure that the project meets their requirements.

Salaries range from £20,000 at entry level to more than £60,000 in senior roles, with a significant increase once you get chartered status.

Becoming a quantity surveyor

You'll need to complete an accredited course to become a quantity surveyor. These courses are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and can be taken as an undergraduate degree or as a postgraduate conversion course if you have a degree in another subject.

Accredited courses might be specifically in quantity surveying, but they can also be in related areas like construction management or building and planning. You can find relevant courses using the RICS course search tool.

If you have a degree that isn't RICS-accredited, you might be able to find a job with an employer who will pay for you to do a postgraduate course. This will be easier if your degree is in a relevant subject, such as geography or construction.

As well as a degree, you'll need at least two years' work experience before you gain the full professional qualification.

Useful skills include:

  • Communication and clear writing
  • Problem-solving
  • Financial and numerical abilities
  • Knowledge of the constructions sector, including relevant regulations

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