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In the construction world, many roles are pivotal to the success of a project. Two of these key roles are the Quantity Surveyor and the Construction Manager. Despite their collaborative work ensuring that projects are completed to specification, on time, and within budget, their roles and responsibilities are distinct. A Quantity Surveyor and a Construction Manager both play important roles in the construction industry, but they have distinct responsibilities and areas of focus. Discover the key responsibilities, skills, and differences between these crucial professionals to make informed decisions for your construction projects.
Construction Manager vs Quantity Surveyors
A Construction manager sometimes referred to as a project manager or site manager is a professional within the construction industry concerned with programme, safety, and planning. Simply put, a company would hire a construction manager to safely oversee and project ensuring it is completed on time and on budget.
A Quantity Surveyor is a professional within the construction industry, concerned with cost, procurement, and contracts. To make it even more simple, the main reason a company would hire a quantity surveyor is to accurately manage the cost on a project.
A Quantity Surveyor is focussed on the cost and value of a project and a Construction manager is focussed on the programme and safety of a project.
The primary difference between quantity surveying and construction management lies in their focus areas.
- A Quantity surveyors manage financial and legal matters, acting as the cost and contract experts, while construction managers coordinate with all parties to oversee the entire project and ensure its completion on time and within budget.
- A Quantity surveyors focus on costing and contractual matters, while construction managers manage the resources and processes to meet these cost targets.
- A Quantity surveyor focuses on the financial and procurement aspects of a construction project, while a Construction Manager focuses on the day-to-day management and coordination of the project.
That’s not to say that these roles don’t overlap. Both quantity surveyors and construction managers contribute to cost management in different ways. However, while these roles do overlap to some degree, each one brings unique skills and expertise to a project. Therefore, for most projects especially larger ones, it is beneficial to have both a quantity surveyor and a construction manager as part of the team.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Project Planning: The Construction Manager develops a detailed project plan, defining the scope, objectives, and course of action.
- Time Management: They are responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time. This involves scheduling, time tracking, and adjustments when necessary.
- Quality Control: They ensure the project meets the agreed-upon standards and specifications. They are focused on the result and how it aligns with client expectations.
- Stakeholder Communication: They are the main point of contact for all stakeholders involved in the project and are responsible for communication between parties.
- Cost Management: One of the primary roles of a Quantity Surveyor (QS) is to manage the costs related to building and engineering projects. This involves initial cost estimations, risk analysis, and value management.
- Contractual Expertise: A QS is skilled in contract administration, ensuring that contracts are fair and protect their client’s interests.
- Procurement Advice: Quantity Surveyors advise on the procurement strategy, helping to choose the most appropriate approach for delivering the project.
- Financial Reporting: They are responsible for monitoring project costs and preparing reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
Understanding Construction Manager And Quantity Surveyor
Construction management is demanding as a career and a hard, and much less nine to five option. Planning and organising abilities and personnel handling skills are much more important. This area is much more suited to a ‘people’ oriented person and those willing to learn or take responsibility Competent project managers are highly regarded, can have much more day to day variety, have higher job satisfaction, and normally are more highly rewarded. The career structure and ability to change employers/locations is more open with much wider options.
Quantity surveying is more bureaucratic as consistency and rule following is important, requires lots of writing and use of computers; but is normally less demanding unless you want a ‘career’ or are to be an estimator. Good rapid handwriting, especially of numbers, is essential unless you are can do everything on a computer where you work. Construction knowledge requirements for QSs are different to, but should be similarly high to, those of a project manager. A QS’s knowledge of services installations needs to be good, unless you work for a specialist, as services now form a major project component.
Construction management and quantity surveying are both important jobs in the construction industry. One is not necessarily better than the other. Both jobs help ensure that construction projects are designed, managed, and completed successfully. A construction manager oversees every part of a construction project, from planning to completion. Construction managers work with architects, engineers, and others, such as property owners, to design the work for a proposed construction project. Once the work begins, the construction manager ensures the project is handled according to the project’s design and plan specifications. As the work progresses, the construction manager resolves any issues that arise, such as labor problems, equipment failure, or delayed shipments of materials. The construction manager strives to keep the project on schedule and within budget. Quantity surveyors create construction project budgets.
When the project begins, the quantity surveyor works with a construction manager to help keep the project within budget. Quantity surveyors thoroughly understand all costs involved in a construction project, including how those costs impact each other. By monitoring all aspects of a construction project and being alert for budget issues, quantity surveyors increase the probability that a construction project stays within budget.
How To Choose The Career
The roles of a construction manager and a quantity surveyor are quite distinct, each playing a crucial part in the world of construction and development.
Think of a construction manager as the captain of a ship. They’re responsible for steering the entire project from start to finish. They coordinate teams, set milestones, manage budgets, and ensure that everything is running like a well-oiled machine. Their role involves a lot of communication, decision-making, and problem-solving.
On the other hand, a quantity surveyor is like the financial wizard of the construction world. They focus on costs, budgets, and estimates. Their job is to analyze the materials needed, labor costs, and other expenses to give an accurate picture of the project’s financial aspects.
So, while a construction manager is more about orchestrating the entire symphony, a quantity surveyor is like the conductor handling the financial notes.
Well, it’s not really a matter of hierarchy, but rather a matter of specialization. Both roles are essential, and their responsibilities complement each other. Without a skilled project manager, even the best quantity surveyor’s estimates might not be put to good use. Conversely, without precise financial insights from a quantity surveyor, a project manager could run into budgetary disasters.
So both roles are equally important and you can choose according to tour interest. If you’re interested in either role, it’s all about finding what suits your skills and interests best.
The needs of your specific project will determine if you need a quantity surveyor, construction manager, or both. Understanding the difference between their roles is key for properly managing your project. A quantity surveyor and construction manager are valuable for your project team. Together, they can make sure your project finishes on time, on budget, and with high quality. If you want to choose a quantity surveyor, consider pursuing Quantity survey courses to enhance your skills and knowledge in the field.
Q: At what stage should we employ a Quantity Surveyor?
Ans: Ideally a quantity surveyor should be consulted at an early stage. Even with a simple outline drawing a costing can be carried out.
Q: What size projects require a Quantity Surveyor?
Ans: Quantity surveyor can be involved in all projects from a small extension to multi million pound projects.
Q: What makes a successful construction manager?
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