Quantity Surveyor in Construction Industry: A Vital Role

February 5, 2024

Topographical survey

The construction industry is a complex and dynamic sector, where the involvement of professionals such as quantity surveyors can make all the difference. Quantity surveyors are an integral part of every construction project, responsible for managing costs, ensuring quality control, and maintaining compliance with regulations. In this blog post, we will explore the role of quantity surveyors in the construction industry in detail. From understanding their day-to-day responsibilities to the essential skills required to become a qualified quantity surveyor, we'll cover it all. We'll also delve into the career advancement and progression opportunities that come with this role, as well as exploring salary aspects of a quantity surveyor. If you're considering a career in construction or looking to hire a quantity surveyor for your next project, this blog post is for you.

Understanding the Role of a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors, integral in cost management and procurement on construction projects, ensure adherence to quality standards and legal requirements. Their expertise minimises construction costs and maximises value. Involvement in project planning enables accurate cost estimation and financial management, alongside assessing and managing project timelines and risks.

Involvement in Project Planning

Playing a pivotal role in project planning, surveyors provide cost advice and prepare budgets, cash flow forecasts, ensuring alignment with project goals. They evaluate subcontractors, suppliers, ensuring cost-effectiveness, quality standards, and financial feasibility for cost efficiency throughout the construction process.

Overseeing Cost Management

Quantity surveyors play a crucial role in monitoring and controlling project expenditure. They conduct cost analysis, manage contracts, and identify cost-saving opportunities. Providing expert advice on cost planning, they optimise project affordability and sustainability, ensuring compliance and cost efficiency throughout the construction process.

Essential Skills Required for a Quantity Surveyor

Analytical prowess is crucial for handling intricate financial data. Effective negotiation and communication abilities are essential for stakeholder interaction. An in-depth understanding of construction law and commercial management is necessary. Proficiency in BIM software aids in cost estimation. Risk management skills are fundamental for assessing potential financial and contractual risks.

Analytical Abilities

Quantity surveyors rely on robust analytical skills to interpret and evaluate construction cost and project data. Their advanced abilities enable them to identify cost-saving opportunities, assess procurement options for efficiency, and evaluate project timelines. These skills are crucial for optimising project budgets and devising effective mitigation strategies.

Negotiation and Communication Skills

Effective negotiation plays a crucial role in securing favourable contract terms and cost-effective procurement. Quantity surveyors communicate project requirements with stakeholders and present cost information to clients. Their negotiation and communication abilities facilitate collaborative cost management, contract administration, and resolution of cost disputes.

Steps to Become a Qualified Quantity Surveyor

Embarking on a journey to become a qualified quantity surveyor involves obtaining a relevant educational background in quantity surveying or a related field. Graduates can pursue postgraduate conversion courses, join training schemes, gain work experience, and undergo the assessment of professional competence to reach the milestone of becoming a chartered quantity surveyor.

Relevant Educational Background

To excel as a quantity surveyor, aspiring professionals should pursue an undergraduate degree in quantity surveying, construction, engineering, or related fields. Specialised postgraduate courses in quantity surveying provide advanced knowledge in construction cost management, forming a strong foundation for a successful career path in construction and quantity surveying.

Setting Upon a Graduate Training Scheme or Apprenticeship

Upon embarking on a graduate training scheme, aspiring quantity surveyors gain industry experience and professional development through a structured path. Apprenticeships offer practical experience, exposure to construction projects, and the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals, facilitating valuable mentorship and on-the-job learning.

Importance of Work Experience

Gaining practical exposure in construction and surveying allows for the application of theoretical knowledge. Site visits and project involvement enhance understanding, while experience in procurement and commercial management broadens insights. Work experience also contributes significantly to career progression and professional qualification attainment.

Defining the Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Quantity Surveyor

Managing project costs and contractual requirements, preparing estimates and bills of quantities, assessing commercial risks, handling procurement and tendering processes, and providing cost advice throughout the project are crucial day-to-day responsibilities of a quantity surveyor.

Pre-Construction Phase Duties

During the pre-construction phase, surveying technicians assist in project feasibility and initial cost advice, contribute to value engineering, quantify project costs, prepare tender documents, manage contract administration, procurement activities, and assess and manage risks. Their expertise is vital in this stage of a project.

Tasks During the Construction Phase

During the construction phase, quantity surveyors oversee and monitor on-site construction costs. They are responsible for valuations, variations, and final account preparations. Additionally, they negotiate and manage subcontractor accounts and administer the contract and commercial aspects of construction projects, crucially monitoring project timelines and costs against budgets.

The Difference between Contractor's and Client's Quantity Surveyor

In the construction industry, a client's quantity surveyor advocates for the client in cost and contracts, ensuring quality and cost standards. On the other hand, the contractor's quantity surveyor focuses on managing costs and value for the contractor, both needing expertise in construction law and cost management.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of a quantity surveyor is multi-faceted. Whether representing the client or contractor, they handle procurement and contract strategies, cost planning, and risk management. Additionally, they assess professional competence and manage subcontractor accounts and contractual claims, showcasing their expertise in construction cost consultancy.

Career Advancement and Progression Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors

Progression in the quantity surveying field spans from trainee to senior roles and can lead to project or commercial manager positions. Professional growth includes becoming a chartered quantity surveyor, while postgraduate courses and experience pave the way for advancement. Further studies are also an option for career development.

Professional Development Paths

Elevating career paths include obtaining chartered quantity surveyor status with RICS, pursuing postgraduate courses, and transitioning to project management or consultancy roles. Specialising in areas like cost consultancy or procurement, backed by professional qualifications, fosters career progression.

Potential Career Prospects

Exploring various career opportunities, quantity surveyors can work in private practice or specialist recruitment agencies. Progression to commercial or project manager roles is common, along with opportunities in supply chain management and facility surveying. Specialist knowledge, professional qualifications, and relevant experience are key for career advancement in the construction industry.

Exploring the Salary Aspects of a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors in the UK command competitive salaries within the construction industry, reflecting variations in industry and experience. Professional qualifications and career progression significantly influence salary growth, indicating positive trends for quantity surveyors in construction and building quantity surveying.

Average Salary Trends

Quantity surveyors in commercial management and construction cost consultancy report competitive salary trends. With professional qualifications and specialist knowledge, senior and chartered quantity surveyors command higher average salaries. Career progression and relevant experience contribute to the promising average salary trends for quantity surveyors in construction and building quantity surveying.

Factors Influencing Salary Variations

Location, experience, and industry demand impact quantity surveyors' salaries. Compensation varies based on project type and scale, professional qualifications, and risk management abilities. Consultancy and commercial management experience may lead to higher earnings.

Quantity Surveying: A Rewarding Career Choice?

Are you considering a career in quantity surveying? This profession offers diverse opportunities in construction, civil engineering, and project management. With expertise in cost planning, procurement, and commercial management, quantity surveyors play a crucial role in ensuring quality standards and cost efficiency. Chartered quantity surveyors are highly sought after for their skills in life cycle costing and risk management. Progression from trainee to senior roles is possible with professional qualifications and experience.

How Does a Typical Day for a Quantity Surveyor Look Like?

A typical day for a quantity surveyor involves conducting valuations on construction sites, managing subcontractor payments, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations. They also handle contract administration, assess professional competence, and provide expert advice on project timelines and cost consultancy. Site visits, procurement, and supply chain management are integral parts of their daily responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cost estimating and cost planning in quantity surveying?

Cost estimating involves predicting project costs based on assumptions and incomplete information, while cost planning develops a budget using detailed project scope and requirements. Quantity surveyors use both methods to provide accurate cost projections for construction projects.

How do you ensure accuracy in measuring quantities as a quantity surveyor?

To ensure accuracy in measuring quantities as a quantity surveyor, standardised measurement methods and tools are utilised for consistency. Double-checking measurements and calculations help catch any errors before submission. Staying updated with industry standards ensures compliance, while collaboration with professionals verifies measurements for accuracy.

Can a quantity surveyor be involved in sustainability initiatives within a construction project?

A quantity surveyor can play a vital role in sustainability initiatives within construction projects. They can offer advice on sustainable materials and construction methods to minimise environmental impact. Additionally, quantity surveyors can assist in measuring and verifying green building certifications, ultimately leading to long-term cost savings.


Quantity surveyors play a vital role in the construction industry, ensuring that projects are completed within budget and to the highest quality. Their involvement in project planning and cost management is crucial for the success of any construction project. To become a qualified quantity surveyor, one must possess essential skills such as analytical abilities, negotiation, and communication skills. Building a career in quantity surveying offers various advancement and progression opportunities, with potential career prospects in both the public and private sectors. The salary aspects of a quantity surveyor vary based on factors like experience and location.

If you are considering a career in quantity surveying or need assistance with your construction project, get in touch with us. Our team of experienced quantity surveyors is here to help you achieve your goals and ensure the success of your project.