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Working in construction, Quantity Surveyors are responsible for managing and forecasting finances, ensuring costs are kept down and quality is kept high.
Quantity Surveyors are chartered professionals who are responsible for keeping a lid on costs ensuring that everyone is getting a good deal and also making sure that costs aren't being cut in a way that would impact on the quality of the building project. The main focus is to ensure that both the builders and the client are not getting short changed and the work is being done to make sure standards are in place.
Quantity Surveyors play a vital role in construction projects and are involved from the inception and initial outlines of projects and their costs and throughout the project when they react to unforeseen changes. The role of a Quantity Surveyor is a chartered position by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Such is the nature of the work undertaken by Quantity Surveyors, graduates looking for a career in this field need to have a high level of maths capabilities and an understanding of the construction industry. Obviously graduates with a RICS accredited degree will be ahead of the pack but this is not entirely necessary for a career in the field. Other skills it is advisable for graduates to have would be great communication and people skills, as well as good coordination and team working skills too.
Quantity surveyor salaries
The average starting salary for a graduate Quantity Surveyor is £21,082. This is a great salary for graduates to start their careers on and they will only see it increase as their experiences grows and they take more responsibility on bigger roles.
While it might appear that Quantity Surveyors are earning less than Credit Controllers, Civil Engineers and only slightly more than Environmental Officers graduates should not be put off by this and remember that these areas, although similar, have been experiencing shortages in talent in recent years.
The daily duties of a quantity surveyor
The role of Quantity Surveyor is very much project based role and this can see the daily duties develop over time rather than being more generally mixed. This said, it is also likely that graduates in this field will be faced with keeping several plates spinning in terms of juggling different projects at the same time.
Another impact of this kind of work on what Quantity Surveyors can find themselves doing is to do with the projects themselves. Graduates may be part of a large team of Quantity Surveyors working building projects worth millions or they could be assisting a senior Quantity Surveyor on a much smaller project.
Here are a few of the duties graduates can expect to be doing as part of their career as a Quantity Surveyor:
- Calculating costs of projects - This is one of the main features of a Quantity Surveyors role. They are responsible for drawing up and calculating the costs of projects, involving labour, materials, land and other financial costs that might arise. This information is fend to contractors and clients to decide whether or not projects are viable or in need of alteration.
- Compiling reports - Report writing is another key part of a Quantity Surveyor's role. They are responsible for ensuring reports accurately outline the information contractors and clients need. This could be professional opinions on the feasibility of projects, the financial costs or advice on amendments that might be financially advisable to the proposed project.
- Managing costs - Construction and projects in construction can be faced many unexpected costs. This could be impacts of weather or mistakes made on site. Quantity Surveyors are responsible for keeping an eye on these outgoings and ensuring costs are kept to a minimum.
- Monitoring quality and legality - There could be a temptation to cut corners when keeping an eye on costs, but Quantity Surveyors are also responsible making sure building and construction work is in line with legal standards and is the quality that clients are expecting.
- Orchestrating subcontractors - While they are holding the purse strings, Quantity Surveyors are also required to manage the contracts of subcontractors. This means establishing contracts and the cost of these, as well as the work they are producing.
Quantity Surveying can be a prosperous and rewarding career, with graduates having the opportunity to work on some exciting projects across the UK and internationally. A keen understanding of construction and the construction industry are vitally important to any success a graduate might have, as well as a high level of competency with maths and finances.