Do you love numbers and construction?
You can combine these two loves by working as a quantity surveyor, as you’ll be responsible for estimating costs and setting budgets.
Learn more about the career of a quantity surveyor, including what it takes to enter this career and how much you can expect to earn.
Quantity surveyors manage finances, but there’s more to explore.
Here’s a look at what a quantity surveyor does.
Table Of Contents
- What Is a Quantity Surveyor?
- Work Opportunities in the Quantity Surveyor Industry
- Top Quantity Surveyor Jobs and Careers
- What It’s Like to Be a Quantity Surveyor
- Quantity Surveyor Salary & Income
- Overview of the Quantity Surveyor Industry
- Jobs Related to Quantity Surveyors
- Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Quantity Surveyors
- Current Career Job Openings
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Quantity Surveyor?
A quantity surveyor monitors costs for construction projects.
They create detailed estimates and oversee the finances to ensure that construction projects stay on budget.
Other names for a quantity surveyor include cost estimator and construction cost consultant.
What Does a Quantity Surveyor Do?
A quantity surveyor helps control costs for construction projects, especially large projects.
They also prepare contracts, identify potential risks, and monitor spending.
Surveyors may also submit budget reports and update clients on financial matters.
Work Opportunities in the Quantity Surveyor Industry
Quantity surveying is a growing profession with many opportunities for those who have the right training.
Learn more about the most common jobs and employers in this field.
Quantity Surveyor Job Description
A quantity surveyor needs to know how to create cost estimates for large construction projects.
They need to research the current and predicted cost of materials and labor based on each project’s specifications.
Top Quantity Surveyor Jobs and Careers
Some of the most common careers in this field include:
- An entry-level cost estimator calculates and analyzes cost estimates.
- A quantity surveyor calculates estimates, develops contracts, and coordinates with clients and subcontractors.
- A project manager oversees all aspects of a project, including budgets, deadlines, and staffing.
Where Can a Quantity Surveyor Work?
Quantity surveyors typically work for the construction industry.
They often work for construction firms for the construction of commercial buildings or residential properties.
Some quantity surveyors choose to work in the manufacturing industry, which may require a degree in finance or business instead of engineering or construction.
What It’s Like to Be a Quantity Surveyor
Unless you have worked in the construction industry, you may not know what to expect from a job as a quantity surveyor. Here’s a closer look.
- Is Being a Quantity Surveyor Hard? Working as a quantity surveyor isn’t too challenging for those who gain the necessary experience and training. The hardest part is often keeping a project within budget.
- Is a Quantity Surveyor’s Job Stressful? Dealing with setbacks and unexpected costs can make this job a little stressful at times. However, working as a quantity surveyor is not exceptionally stressful compared to other professions.
Common Quantity Surveyor Workday
A quantity surveyor’s workday can vary depending on the current stage of a construction project.
Before breaking ground on a project, a quantity surveyor may spend the day analyzing blueprints and plans to estimate costs and assist with planning.
The quantity surveyor continues to monitor the budget throughout the project.
They may oversee progress on the project while ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
Quantity Surveyor Tasks & Duties
Common tasks for quantity surveyors include:
- Analyzing blueprints to create material lists
- Estimating the number of materials needed
- Estimating costs based on material lists
- Determining maintenance costs for buildings
- Estimating the value of a property
Quantity Surveyor Work Hours & Schedule
As with other management positions, quantity surveyors often work set schedules and may get the weekends off.
Quantity Surveyor Dress Code
Quantity surveyors often dress the same as construction managers.
Common attire includes polo shirts and flannel shirts with jeans and boots.
Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?
Quantity surveying can provide a better work/life balance compared to working as a general laborer in the construction industry.
Quantity Surveyor Salary & Income
Quantity surveyors often receive a salary instead of an hourly pay rate.
A quantity surveyor tends to make more compared to general construction laborers, as this job requires specialized knowledge.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a quantity surveyor in the US is $86,270 per year.
Overview of the Quantity Surveyor Industry
The job market for quantity surveyors tends to match the conditions for the overall construction industry.
Quantity Surveyor Field: Career Progression
Quantity surveyors often start with entry-level jobs in the construction industry, such as construction laborers.
An employer may prefer candidates to have one to two years of experience before entrusting them with budgets and cost estimates.
Quantity surveyors also tend to receive on-the-job training.
They may assist a senior quantity surveyor or cost estimator for a year or longer.
- Is Quantity Surveyor a Good Career? A quantity surveyor is a good career for the right candidates, as it offers job stability and decent pay. Demand is also expected to grow in the coming years.
- Quantity Surveyor Job Outlook: The job outlook for quantity surveyors is positive. It’s closely linked to the rest of the construction industry. Some experts expect the construction industry to grow by at least 3% annually from 2023 to 2026.
- Demand for Quantity Surveyors: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts about 17,800 job openings per year for cost estimators, which is a group that can include quantity surveyors.
- Quantity Surveyor Facts: Quantity surveyors are called chartered surveyors in the UK and face tighter regulations. A chartered surveyor needs an approved degree, several years of experience, and a passing score on an exam.
Jobs Related to Quantity Surveyors
Consider the following jobs if quantity surveyor doesn’t quite fit your needs:
- Structural engineers evaluate blueprints and observe construction projects.
- Project managers oversee every aspect of a project to ensure that it runs smoothly.
- Planning engineers assist the project manager by planning each stage of the project.
Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Quantity Surveyors
Before you apply for a job as a quantity surveyor, you should ensure that you have the right skills and education.
- Who Should Consider a Quantity Surveyor Career Path? If you’re a logical individual who enjoys reviewing statistics and figures, you may do well in this career.
- Who Should Not Consider a Quantity Surveyor Career Path? If you dislike the idea of visiting loud construction sites or struggle with mathematics and counting, you should consider a different career.
- Is It Hard to Become a Quantity Surveyor? Becoming a quantity surveyor often requires construction experience, which can be physically exhausting. However, the path to becoming a quantity surveyor isn’t particularly difficult.
What Do I Need to Become a Quantity Surveyor?
The requirements vary depending on where you live and the employer, but you should consider enrolling in college to pursue a quantity surveyor career.
Requirements for Becoming a Quantity Surveyor
In the United Kingdom, Australia, and many other countries, quantity surveyors need to complete specific training and obtain certain qualifications or certifications.
In the United States, a quantity surveyor typically needs a bachelor’s degree and a year or so of work experience.
- What Skills Does a Quantity Surveyor Need? Good analytical skills, technical skills, and writing skills are helpful for this career. Quantity Surveyors should also be detail-oriented and possess strong time management skills.
- What Education Does a Quantity Surveyor Need?
- A bachelor’s degree is often needed for this field, which includes cost estimators. According to Zippia, about 55% of cost estimators have bachelor’s degrees.
- Can You Become a Quantity Surveyor Without a Degree? Extensive work experience may qualify a candidate for a quantity surveyor job without a degree.
- What Experience Does a Quantity Surveyor Need? Quantity surveyors typically need one or more years of experience working in the construction industry. Many employers prefer to hire individuals with at least a few years of experience.
Quantity Surveyor Education & Schooling
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from quantity surveyor courses and college degrees.
A quantity surveyor course typically covers the steps needed to estimate the cost of a building project.
Students also learn how to use AutoCAD to review blueprints and materials.
Course duration may vary from a few hours to 40 hours or more.
Some courses provide a basic overview of this field while other courses provide comprehensive training.
Quantity Surveyor Education Options and Degree Programs
Instead of a single course, most quantity surveyors obtain a college degree.
Employers may prefer to hire candidates with a degree in one of the following majors:
- Construction Management
Students who study finance or accounting may still benefit from construction management courses to learn more about what goes into the typical construction project.
A master’s degree is less common for quantity surveyors but may lead to greater career prospects.
Potential master’s degrees include building science, construction management, and business management.
Schools for Quantity Surveyors
Popular colleges for quantity surveyors and cost estimators include:
- The University of Phoenix (Online)
- Texas A&M
- Michigan State University
How to Become a Quantity Surveyor
The path to becoming a quantity surveyor can vary depending on your background.
Here’s an overview of the typical steps.
Steps to Become a Quantity Surveyor
- Complete high school. You need a minimum of a high school diploma for most jobs.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field.
- Obtain an entry-level construction job.
- Gain one to three years of construction experience.
- Apply for entry-level cost estimator and quantity surveyor jobs.
Current Career Job Openings
If you have several years of experience in the construction industry or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you may be ready to look for work.
Browse the following job listings for quantity surveyors to start your search.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need Math for Quantity Surveying?
Math is an important skill for quantity surveying, as you need to create cost estimates and present figures to clients and managers.
Is a Quantity Surveyor an Engineer?
Quantity surveyors are not engineers.
However, they often require an understanding of engineering principles and how to read and analyze blueprints.
A quantity surveyor is an essential worker for large construction projects.
They are responsible for keeping the project from going over budget.
If you enjoy working with numbers, you may find that becoming a quantity surveyor is a good fit for your future career.
Quantity surveyors often benefit from a stable career, decent pay, and a good work/life balance.
However, you may find that it’s easier to get a job as a quantity surveyor with a college degree.