What is a quantity surveyor or cost consultant?
A quantity surveyor (QS) or cost consultant is essentially a construction accountant. His or her role is to manage all costs relating to a given project from pitch to completion. Surveyors can work for either a client or a contractor, in an office or on site. They need to have a full understanding of statutory building regulations for this task.
Typical work activities include managing costs for new projects, undertaking cost analysis for maintenance and refurbishment work, performing risk and value management and cost control, advising on procurement strategy and preparing tender and contract documents.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the main organisation for surveyors in the UK.
Becoming a quantity surveyor or cost consultant
The most straightforward way is to complete a degree in quantity surveying or building surveying. You can also do a construction degree that is accredited by the RICS. Quantity surveying is a choice for many without a degree in construction, and most UK firms offer graduate schemes for you to join straight from university.
It is important to pass your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC), a structured, work-based training scheme that assesses your technical and business skills. Some companies have a sponsorship scheme so that you can qualify as a surveyor while gaining first-hand experience on the job. To become a chartered surveyor you will need a degree or conversion course that is accredited by the RICS.
A quantity surveyor can expect a starting salary of roughly £17,000 - £25,000, according data from 2008.
Obtaining chartered status increases salary options.
At senior levels expect to earn £50,000+ with partners in private practice earning substantially more.
For more information on salaries and how to become a quantity surveyor visit the RICS.
Search quantity surveyor jobs here.