What's the Difference? P Quantity Surveyor vs. Consultant QS

January 3, 2024

Topographical survey

Are you considering a career in Quantity Surveying but unsure of which path to take? The industry offers two primary options: P Quantity Surveyor and Consultant QS. While both involve managing costs and finances on construction projects, there are some key differences between the two roles. In this blog, we will provide an overview of each profession, their respective responsibilities, required skills, job prospects, and career opportunities. We'll also compare the two roles side by side to help you make an informed decision about your future in Quantity Surveying. Additionally, we have insights from industry experts who share their opinions on the pros and cons of each role. By the end of this post, you will have all the information needed to decide whether a career as a P Quantity Surveyor or Consultant QS is right for you.

Understanding the Role of a P Quantity Surveyor

Managing all costs, ensuring value, handling contractual issues, and essential for project completion.

Key Responsibilities of a P Quantity Surveyor

A P Quantity Surveyor estimates costs, prepares documents, manages payments, and monitors construction. They assess variations and update cost plans.

Skills Required for a P Quantity Surveyor

Adequate communication, strong qualifications, construction knowledge, data analysis, and software familiarity are vital.

Job Prospects for a P Quantity Surveyor

With career opportunities in high demand, P Quantity Surveyors can expect excellent prospects. The industry offers significant growth and financial rewards, especially in the UK and London. The highly regarded RICS qualification opens doors to roles in cost planning, estimators, valuation, and project quantity surveying

Diving into the World of Consultant QS

Consultant Quantity Surveyors provide expert advice on construction costs, procurement, and contracts. They act as impartial advisors, representing the client's best interests. A typical day involves cost planning, value engineering, and cost management. They focus on cost control, contractual matters, and negotiating with suppliers and contractors. Integral to the success of construction projects.

Crucial Duties of a Consultant QS

Undertaking feasibility studies, advising on contractual issues, and specialising in cost management. Assessing financial planning, preparing tender documents, and analyzing cost estimates.

Necessary Skills for a Consultant QS

Proficiency in valuation, feasibility studies, and contractual issues is imperative for a Consultant QS.

Career Opportunities in Consultant QS

Abundant opportunities in consultancy firms for Consultant Quantity Surveyors across various sectors. Roles include cost consultants, commercial managers, and project managers. RICS qualification enhances career progression within the industry. Diverse, challenging, and rewarding career paths are available.

P Quantity Surveyor vs. Consultant QS: Comparing the Two

Comparison of P Quantity Surveyors managing construction costs with Consultant QS's expert advice. Both roles require excellent communication and analytical skills.

Comparison Based on Job Roles and Responsibilities

Overseeing cost planning, contractual issues, and construction phase payments; specialising in cost control.

Comparison Based on Skillsets

When it comes to skillsets, a P Quantity Surveyor focuses on cost planning.

Comparison Based on Career Prospects

Exploring career prospects for P Quantity Surveyors and Consultant QS in the construction industry.

Insights from Industry Experts

Insights from industry experts shed light on the roles and expertise of QS professionals. Both quantity surveyors and consultant QSs play vital roles in cost management and contract administration, offering specialised skills and knowledge. Industry experts stress the importance of qualifications, experience, and reputation in choosing the right professional for construction projects.

Expert Opinions on P Quantity Surveyor

The role of a P Quantity Surveyor involves cost management and project control.

Expert Views on Consultant QS

Specialised services, project feasibility advice, strategic planning, collaborative approach, and value engineering for cost reduction.

Experts Weigh In: P Quantity Surveyor vs. Consultant QS

When comparing a P Quantity Surveyor and Consultant QS, consider their distinct roles. Both are essential in construction projects.

Making the Right Career Choice

Factors to weigh when choosing between a career as a QS or CQS.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between P Quantity Surveyor and Consultant QS

Consider the extent of involvement needed, experience, cost, communication, and reputation.

Are You Better Suited for a Career as a P Quantity Surveyor or a Consultant QS?

Are you unsure which career path to choose between being a P Quantity Surveyor or a Consultant QS? This article will help you evaluate your skills, interests, and job prospects to determine which role suits you best. Explore the responsibilities, required skills, and career opportunities in both fields to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a QS and a PQS?

A Quantity Surveyor (QS) is responsible for managing costs and contracts in construction, while a Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) is a title given to a QS who has met specific qualifications and experience requirements. The main distinction between them lies in the higher level of education, training, and experience achieved by PQS. Both play crucial roles in ensuring projects are completed within budget and on time.

What is the role of a PQS?

The role of a PQS, or Quantity Surveyor, involves managing costs and finances for construction projects. They prepare cost estimates, contracts, and budgets and monitor project costs throughout the construction process. Their goal is to ensure projects are completed within budget and on time.

What key skills do I need to become a Quantity Surveyor?

To become a Quantity Surveyor, strong math and analytical skills are essential. Attention to detail, communication skills, and the ability to work under pressure are also important. Knowledge of construction materials, cost estimating, and project management is necessary. A degree or relevant work experience can suffice.


In conclusion, both P Quantity Surveyors and Consultant QSs play crucial roles in the construction industry, but their responsibilities and career prospects differ. A P Quantity Surveyor focuses on project management, cost estimation, and contract administration, while a Consultant QS provides expert advice on legal matters, dispute resolution, and strategic planning. When choosing a career path, consider your strengths, interests, and long-term goals. If you enjoy the technical aspects of construction and want to specialise in project management, becoming a P Quantity Surveyor might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and are interested in providing consultancy services, pursuing a career as a Consultant QS could be more suitable. To explore further and make an informed decision, get in touch with us to discuss your options.