Quantity Surveyor: The new-era multitasker
These days, a job is acquired not by grades or GPA, but rather by skills. Every field demands deep expertise and sound knowledge. Above that, it is important to have interdisciplinary knowledge, to go beyond one’s own subject, and relate to other fields of knowledge.
One such job, which demands high expertise and cross-disciplinary knowledge is the Quantity surveyor. Quantity surveyors are responsible for managing both the financial and contractual aspects of any construction projects.
One needs to have profound knowledge about construction materials and their use, the right amount of investments to be done, get contracts, and maintain good relations as well.
Duties of a Quantity surveyor –
The duties of a Quantity surveyor are comprehensive and integrated. Some of the duties are:
- Monitor constructional activities: To supervise the requirements and procedures of construction before the project begins. To analyze the drawings and specifications of the projects that the architects of engineers provide.
- Preparing an ideal project budget: Quantity surveyors play a pivotal role in cost estimating, planning, and preparing the budget which is feasible for the company.
- Get new projects: To take care of tenders and its related processes, preparation of bills of quantities, terms, and conditions of contracts, and assemble tender related documents.
- Involve in cost management: To cut down unnecessary costs in initial stages and increase the profit margin.
- Provide contractual advice: To advise on contract and project-related matters related matters.
- Managing relations: Maintain coordination between departments and people, and resolve disputes and claims when needed. One needs to display professional etiquettes and always work in a team.
Associations for Quantity surveyors-
Every field has associations that comprise people bearing expertise in that field to provide a platform for like-minded people for the exchange of ideas, to create innovations. Some of the associations for quantity surveyors are:
- RICS- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- AIQS– Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
- ASAQS – Association of South African Quantity Surveyors
- CIQS- Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
- IIQS- Indian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
- BSIJ- Building Surveyors Institute of Japan
- ASAQS- Association of South African Quantity Surveyors
- NZIQS- New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors
Qualifications needed to be a professional Quantity surveyor:
Every job role requires one to have basic educational qualifications. But when it comes to jobs like quantity surveyor, it requires one to be a little better than the others. The qualifications required for being a quantity surveyor are:
- Candidates must successfully finish higher secondary schooling with average or above percentage.
- Candidates must hold accredited diplomas or degrees in subjects like Architecture, Surveying, construction, Civil engineering, Structural engineering, Construction Management, Building Science, or Construction Science, MBA in construction economics, and quantity surveying from a recognized university or institution.
- Candidates must pass a professional competence assessment.
- Candidates must work or intern for 2- 3 years under the supervision of a qualified Quantity surveyor professional to gain practical experience.
Responsibilities of Quantity surveyors:
Quantity surveyor job roles require one to be on their toes every single time. One has to be proactive, responsive, and take up responsibilities. It is a job that demands your complete focus and dedication during both on-site and off-site work.
The responsibilities of Quantity surveyors include the following:
- Calculating the costs of material and labor and to present an ideal budget for the client.
- Planning, estimating, and management of project costs. Help the clients to locate and access additional source funding and investments. Take up cost analysis for maintenance and repair work.
- Negotiating, analyzing, and preparation of budgets and tenders. Help the clients to initiate new construction projects.
- Giving advice on contractual and legal matters, procurement strategies. Build a long-lasting relationship with the client and help them sail through rough waters.
- Resolving disputes, and ensuring coordination among all departments and levels.
- Aim to increase profit margins and focus on minimizing costs.
- To supervise the construction work. This includes analyzing the structures and maps given by architects during initial stages, allocate work to the subordinates and workers, and take into consideration the health and safety aspects of the workers and provide them a good work atmosphere.
Salary of Quantity surveyors –
The job opportunities for Quantity surveyors are always present in the market, but the skills required to get the job are time-consuming. Hence, the companies pay well to the quantity surveyors because the job is challenging and risky.
- The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in the United Kingdom is £18,000 – £25,000 per annum.
- The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in India is INR 4,00,000-5,00,000 per annum.
- The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in the United States of America is $ 60,000-70,000 per annum.
- The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in Australia is 27,300 AUD to 35,000 AUD per annum
Working hours of Quantity surveyors –
The working hours of a Quantity surveyor professional are just like other regular working hours. Most of the time is either spent in the office or on the construction sites. For instance, in the UK, quantity surveyors who serve as contractors on-site may work from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm, while in India, the work hours might be 9.30 am to 6.00 p.m. Quantity surveyors are expected to work overtime and even on weekends if the deadline of the project is approaching. Also, if any problems are arising on the construction site, then the time is extended until the issues are not fixed. Like other jobs, quantity surveyors are given holidays whenever the government declares, and also medical leaves and earned leaves are also given. If you are an intern or apprentice, then your work hours are fixed by your superiors and it can be hectic since you have to work and learn simultaneously.
What to expect:
- Most of the time, you are required to either work in an office or on a construction site. In the latter case, it might take up your whole day. Both places require you to maintain professionalism and etiquette.
- Sometimes you have to travel within working days.
- You might get a chance to go overseas for work-related activities.
- The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is working to increase the standards of the surveying profession through several initiatives.
Skills Required to be a great Quantity surveyor –
Here’s a comprehensive list of skills that are required to be an efficient and professional Quantity surveyor.
- Problem- solving skills
- Budgeting skills
- Logical and analytical thinking
- Great communication skills
- Organizational and planning skills
- Negotiation and risk-taking skills
- Leadership skills
- Financial Management
- Contract writing and assessment
- Team building and networking
Work experience of Quantity surveyor:
Work experience is one of the crucial aspects of any career. Experience is what makes one a better person in both professional and personal lives. Hands-on experience will help you to correct your mistakes, learn something new every day, and build relations and grow together. Employers always look for knowledgeable, dedicated, and resilient workers who are down to earth and have the zeal to learn.
You can start as an intern under a professional quantity surveyor to know if you are meant to be in this field. Many job offers are provided by construction companies and firms in the form of either internships or full-time employment. You can either search for jobs online or visit the website of the firm to know more details and apply thereafter.
Employers of Quantity surveyors :
The major employers of quantity surveyors are:
- Commercial businesses
- Large engineering consultancies and Housing associations
- Large international mechanical contractors
- local authorities and government agencies
- the offices of private practice quantity surveyors (PQS)
- property firms and developers
- The surveying sections of the building and civil engineering contractors.
- What does a quantity surveyor do? Quantity surveyors have to be proficient in both contractual and management skills. They are expected to manage all the aspects related to finance, and construction of any construction project. They also have to evaluate the construction work, help with the tenders and bidding, project budgeting, and management, provide advice on contractual and legal matters, and acquire new projects for the clients.
- What’s it like to be a quantity surveyor? Quantity surveyors are people who have vast knowledge about construction materials, costs, and contracts. They are responsible for planning, calculating, and managing the costs of the projects, cutting extra costs and increasing profit margin, negotiating with clients, and getting new projects.
- How much could you earn as a quantity surveyor? As a quantity surveyor one can expect to earn pretty good since the job requires you to be proficient and skillful. The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in India is INR 4,00,000-5,00,000 per annum. The average salary of a newbie Quantity surveyor in the United States of America is $ 60,000-70,000 per annum.
- How to find an apprenticeship/job? Many job offers are provided by construction companies and firms in the form of either internships or full-time employment. You can either search for jobs online or visit the website of the firm to know more details and apply thereafter.
- What is the Career path and progression? Candidates who are skillful, knowledgeable, and have the required academic qualification in quantity surveying will find multiple job opportunities. Jobs are provided by construction companies and property developers, subcontractor companies, project management companies, construction material supplier companies, insurance companies, etc. Since construction and infrastructure building is a never-ending process, hence this field will always be booming. One needs to be patient and enthusiastic in this field.