How to become a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors prepare cost estimates and plans, audit projects, manage costs and administer contracts, for all levels and types of construction.

Personal requirements of a Quantity Surveyor

  • Analytical and logical
  • Able to concentrate for long periods
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Able to work accurately with figures
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Aptitude for working with computers

Education & Training for a Quantity Surveyor

To become a quantity surveyor you usually have to study quantity surveying or construction management at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.

Duties & Tasks of a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors may perform the following tasks:

  • liaise with architects, engineers, builders, contractors, suppliers and project owners
  • study architectural and engineering drawings and specifications
  • prepare a ‘Bill of Quantities’ that lists the individual components required to construct a project
  • review any changes to a design plan to assess the effects on cost
  • assess and recommend payment to contractors during construction
  • prepare monthly cash-flow forecasts for clients and tax depreciation schedules
  • perform feasibility studies to assist with decisions about the worth of a project proceeding
  • serve as a consultant to business and government.

Working conditions for a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors usually work in offices. They also visit building sites, clients and other members of construction teams.

Employment Opportunities for a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors work with architects, building contractors, developers, engineers and project managers. They can work as individual consultants or as part of a small or medium-sized firm. Some work as academics in universities. Some may find employment in government agencies. Those in the building industry usually work on larger-scale projects such as office complexes, high-density residential projects, hotels, factories and hospitals. Job prospects can fluctuate depending on the level of building activity. With experience, progress to managerial positions in the construction industry is possible.

Additional Information
Graduates may be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors or for probationary membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Student membership is also available. Qualifications are recognised worldwide.
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