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There are many different ways to become a Quantity Surveyor so I have taken the time out to go through each one for you. I am going to share with you my experience of how I became a quantity surveyors.

Go to university/college and get your qualification.

Full time

Going to university full time generally for 3-4 years is great. You have lots of free time to study and party. Generally, you will perform a placement year with a company that will allow you to put your newly learned skills into practice.
University courses are very structured in their learning.

Part Time – one-day week/night study

Going to college part time will allow you to work for a company as a junior/trainee quantity surveyor during the week. Working for a company will mean you will be getting valuable hands-on experience that will set you out from any full-time graduate.

Many children dream of becoming a pilot one day. Flying high in the sky and making dreams come true. Whenever you would ask an adult about how one can become a pilot they would mention one thing for sure – you need to have good eyesight.

Every profession needs one key trait in the pursuer’s personality. If anyone were to ask today about what trait is essential for becoming a quantity surveyor, it would have to be being good with numbers. If you have the ability to create accurate feasibility analysis and understand how to minimize expenses and maximize the potential of available resources, this could be the right job for you.
Quantity Surveyor or ‘QS’ as some might call it treats project costs the way an engineer would treat an electric circuit. They would find the best possible solution while creating maximum efficiency along the path to completion.

Personality Traits of Quantity Surveyor

Quantity Surveyor wears many hats during the course of a project. They are a problem solver, providing efficient and effective solutions during unexpected events or standoffs during the construction process. They are a mediator when it comes to helping teams figure out a solution to a bottleneck situation, using the mediation skills they come up with ideas that create win-win solutions for all parties involved.

They can be a negotiator as well when it comes to negotiating the best price for an urgently needed item. All these traits gel together to create an effective and efficient Quantity Surveyor.

What to expect on the job

The work is on-site and offsite as well. The onsite work requires the quantity surveyor to have face to face meetings with the staff, get the lay of the land on the construction site and understand some of the issues being faced by the team on the ground. The quantity surveyor takes all their findings back to the drawing board in the office and prepares solutions in order to keep the project on track.
The profession used to be male-dominated during the past many years, however more and more women are entering this industry and playing an effective role as a quantity surveyor.

With many international construction companies working all over the world, the job may require local as well as international travel. This gives people of this profession ample exposure and great opportunity to learn from their international experience.

Qualifications of Quantity Surveyor

The profession does not require candidates to undergo a specific course before entering this field, however, a relevant subject study may help a lot such as a graduate coursework in Construction, Economics, Mathematics, Geography, etc.
Those who do not have a specialized degree may have to start off as technical surveyor going through the learning curve on the job. Professionals who have a specialized degree in the field have an edge. There are MSc courses in Quantity Surveying that teach you the essential tools such as cost management and budget allocation which are the primary requirements in this field.

These courses usually take one year to complete if you are a full-time student. Some students opt for a part-time schedule wherein they are able to gain experience and learn theory at school at the same time.

Who would you work with

As a Quantity Surveyor, you can play an essential role along with the Architect. Architects provide blueprints for private and commercial buildings. Having a Quantity Surveyor by their side would be a great help in identifying project costs and deciding on the project resources.

Landing a job with government authorities will allow you to experience mega projects such as flyovers and highways. An efficient Quantity Surveyor would leverage these experiences in order to start their private practice as a Freelance Quantity Surveyor for private construction companies.

Property Developers are ideal employers of Quantity Surveyors as they want to deliver the best quality projects with minimal costs. With so much advancement in the field of construction, Quantity Surveyor is a great career to take up in the 21st century. In all these employment opportunities you will spend most of your time with Engineers, Contractors, Construction labors and Project owners.

Quantity Surveyor Job Search Tips

When drafting your resume for Quantity Surveyor Jobs, it is essential that you focus on the desired skills. If you are a fresh graduate you can focus on final year projects involving budgeting and forecasting. You can also highlight your leadership and negotiation skills.

If you are an experienced professional, highlighting your past achievements such as cost savings and timely delivery of the project can take you a long way.
Many employers advertise their jobs on online Job boards. Some of the famous job posting sites include Indeed, Glassdoor and career builders. The keywords to use to search for Quantity Surveyor jobs include Quantity Surveyor, Cost Engineer or even Project Cost Manager. Employing relevant filters on the sites such as selecting Construction as the field of interest will specialize your search and provide better results.

If you are selected for an interview, you need to present yourself well. You should come across as a confident, easy to work with, and an effective team player. Your job may require a lot of negotiation and mediation in your daily work. Hence, good communication and interpersonal skills are of high importance.


Some of the mega projects in 2018 include the refurbishment of the Big Ben in London, The 61 story Sales Force Tower in San Francisco, and The Anaklia port in China. With the latest developments in state of the art architectures and high-rise buildings all over the world and the construction of mega projects faster than ever before, the Quantity Surveyors are in much demand.

Many of the world-renowned property owners and construction companies look for minimizing their expenses in order to generate high net income. An effective Quantity Surveyor will help them achieve this feat and be an important part of the modern construction ground.