A Guide to Becoming a Quantity Surveyor

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Each project is done throughout the engineering lifecycle by quantity surveyors who play a fundamental role by ensuring each project gets done by its prospected deadline and within budget limits. As the United Kingdom dedicates more money and time to high-level infrastructure, the demands for skilled labor keep rising. How do you enter into such a profession and what opportunities actually keep rising?

There are three stages along the career path of a quantity surveyor; first starting graduate, senior surveyor, and managing quantity surveyor. Be sure to read what follows to discover every aspect of the career at all three of its stages. You’ll discover what experience you’ll need to climb up it and all the opportunities that await those who are patient, hardworking, and serious about learning.  Take a look below at the career progression for a quantity surveyor

Graduate/junior quantity surveyor

There are loads of tasks involved in every project that a junior quantity surveyor must complete. The task at hand depends largely on the specifics of the plan and the type of project you happen to be working on. You’ll most likely be managing contracts and procurement. The job at this level entails taking on cost forecasting and monitoring profit.


What experience is needed?

This profession requires no degree. With that, you may be able to enter into it at a higher wage if you attend the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If you’ve already been to college for a different subject, you might want to take a postgraduate conversion course that’s accredited by RICS.

It isn’t necessary to complete a course of any kind; however, it certainly doesn’t hurt if your degree is a related to a subject like structural or civil engineering, construction, or economics. Some employers will take you on before you reach accreditation and support you while you’re obtaining your full training.

What Salary Should I Expect?

£20,000 – £30,000

Quantity Surveyor/Senior Quantity Surveyor

You’ll be gaining senior status if you stay moving on the career path for a few years. Say goodbye to being referred to as a “junior Surveyor” and move up to a more sustainable salary.  Becoming a more experienced quantity surveyor entails working more independently and managing larger commercial projects with less supervision then you once had. You will start to gain expertise in a specific sector as you begin to gain experience with highway, construction, rail, or water projects. It’ll allow you to provide excellent value and experience to the business or organization you are working for. 

Coaching or mentoring junior level members of your team may become a part of your life when you progress to this level.

What experience is needed?

It’s unlikely you’ll be chosen for senior roles until you’ve reached at least five years of experience.

Becoming a well respected quantity surveyor demonstrates your professional ability and helps you gain access to the next level of your career. After you become chartered, you’ll see your salary jump up to £6,000.

What Salary Should I Expect?

£30,000 – £55,000

Managing quantity surveyor/commercial manager

A managing quantity surveyor position is given to those who’ve been at senior status for awhile. A greater responsibility will be given over a range of numerous commercial projects. You’ll be the one on the line with clients and suppliers, ensuring that a positive relationship is kept with both so you can deliver your end-result on time and within the proper budget.

What Type of Experience Will Get Me There?

You’ll need more than ten years of experience to reach eligibility for this role in most cases. Having a degree in the subject or one similar will get you there faster. It’s expected that an in-depth knowledge will be reached of the sector you’re in. You should be familiar with all the processes and systems that come with every job.

Good assets, such as having strong communication skills that’ll help you lead a team, will make you a strong communicator with everyone working under you. Senior stakeholders will be impressed with your solid grasp of the risks and benefits that each project delivers.

What Salary Should I Expect?

£50,000 – £70,000

Quantity surveyor jobs

With the high amount of needed projects and the increasingly high amount of money being sent to improve the United Kingdom’s infrastructure, a quantity surveyor won’t lack for a job opportunity. According to recent surveys done by the RICS, those who want to enter into the construction and infrastructure profession can find plenty of newly popping up jobs. The UK has made a strong commitment to deliver 300,000 new homes a year to its citizens. We’re also seeing large projects pop up like HS2 and Thames Tideway underway. It’ll be no problem to find a job.

The RICS is seeing more than a rise in workloads. A slowing of projects being constructed on time is sweeping the United Kingdom. Becoming a Quantity surveyor could help put a rest to this issue. There’s never been a better time to enter into this profession with new houses and roads needing to be built by day’s end every time. Climbing up the quantity surveyor ladder can be tricky with extra training always being needed; however, the salary can certainly support a better lifestyle if you make it into management.