On-site

Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors oversee construction projects, managing risks and controlling costs.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Quantity surveyor jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You could work in the public sector for a local authority, housing association or government department.

You could also work in the private sector for a building contractor, property company, civil engineering or architecture firm.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • finding out a client’s needs and assessing if their plans are feasible
  • working out quantities and costs of materials, time and labour for tenders
  • negotiating contracts and work schedules
  • advising on legal matters, including risks and disputes
  • monitoring sub-contractors and stages of construction
  • writing regular reports on costs and preparing accounts for payment
  • keeping up to date with construction methods and materials 
  • following health and safety and building regulations

University

You'll need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This can be a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course from any degree. Useful subjects are construction, structural or civil engineering, mathematics, geography, economics or land studies.

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

You could also start work as a junior or trainee quantity surveyor, a surveying technician or surveying assistant, then study to become a quantity surveyor.

You’ll need to be a member of RICS (MRICS) to become a fully qualified chartered surveyor. For this you’ll need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Apprenticeship

You could take a surveying technician advanced apprenticeship, followed by further training on the job, or a chartered surveyor or construction quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

Other Routes

You could get a postgraduate surveying qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.

£18,000 to £80,000

Starter salary: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced salary: £25,000 to £50,000

These figures are a guide.

37 to 40

You'll usually work Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. You may work evenings or weekends. Hours may be longer if you work on-site as a contractor.

You'll spend time in an office and visiting building sites.

You’ll usually need a full driving licence.

You'll need to become a member of RICS (MRICS) to become a fully qualified chartered quantity surveyor - for this you'll need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

With experience, you could become a senior quantity surveyor or move into senior project management, supply chain management, consultancy work or self-employment.

You could specialise in areas like planning, risk assessment or contract disputes.

Another option is to move into lecturing at a university or college.

You can find out more about becoming a quantity surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Go Construct.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • persistence and determination
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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