The physical characteristics of land, buildings, and other structures are measured and mapped through surveying. To accurately depict the environment, data must be gathered, examined, and interpreted. Numerous professions, including civil engineering, building, mining, forestry, and environmental management, depend on surveying. Establishing precise measurements and positions of items, landmarks, and elements of the built environment is the main goal of surveying.
A Quantity Survey (QS), which controls all project-related costs from the outset computations to the final figures, is a specialist in the building sector who is concerned with construction costs of the materials and personnel required. To give cost and financial advice, a Professional Quantity Surveyor has an in-depth understanding of construction activities and processes, as well as the regulations regarding construction projects and accounting. The quantity surveyor may work for the customer or the contractor and may do so in an office setting or on the job site. They might become involved in a project from the beginning by providing cost estimates and estimates for the work. Quantity surveyors monitor any changes to the contract that can have an impact on costs while the project is still in progress and produce reports to demonstrate profitability.
What is the Role of the Quantity Surveyor?
In several regions of the world, the 17th and 18th centuries are when quantity surveying first emerged. Before construction began, quantity surveyors were thought of as “measurers” who were skilled at determining the quantities and creating the project’s bill of materials. The present building industry has advanced the position of a quantity surveyor. There are several misconceptions regarding quantity surveyors (QS), including the notions that their work is confined to taking measurements and creating Bills of Quantities (BOQ), that they must be mathematicians, that they must complete a tonne of paperwork, and that it is a dull office job. The following factors must be considered when examining a QS’s role:
- Fidelity analysis, cost planning, design economics, value engineering, procurement, tendering, quantification of works, cost estimation, and contracts are some examples of pre-contract management activities.
- Cost planning, project cost monitoring, reporting, the value of intermediate and final accounts, commercial management, contracts management, contractual claims, cost analysis, and change management are all part of the post-contract management job.
Qualities of a Quantity Surveyor
Three categories—technical skills, software skills, and soft skills—are used to classify the skill sets.
- Technical Skills
These include the previously mentioned knowledge and application in pre- and post-contract management-related areas.
- Software Skills
The results of the survey could be used to infer that some software tools would need a basic level of awareness, others might need an intermediate level with exposure to the tool from an application perspective, and still, others might need an advanced understanding (see Figure 1, which shows the percentage of respondents who selected the basic, intermediate, and advanced level). It is conceivable that the QS would require the best Excel proficiency to operate at the highest level. According to the survey results, QS would require a solid understanding of programs like CostX and MS Project.
These three programs would make up the essential elements of a QS skill when used in conjunction with cost consultants. The Indian construction industry has yet to adopt BIM models, which would allow QS to develop its understanding of Revit and Navisworks. Knowing BIM, Primavera, @Risk, and Candy CCS in addition to being proficient in MS Excel, MS Project, and CostX would improve a QS’s job prospects.
- Soft Skills
Through the questionnaire survey, the soft skills necessary for a QS were also recorded, and it was discovered that the following are primarily necessary for them to succeed.
- As most of the QS’s operations are time-bound, time management is necessary.
- Mathematical and analytical abilities
- Due to working with various stakeholders, such as clients, contractors, or subcontractors, communication and presentation skills are essential.
- Ability to negotiate, as a QS’s main duty is to choose resources, processes, and goods that are affordable.
- Using critical thinking to consider several outcomes and probable circumstances for projects.
- Ability to operate under pressure and maintain composure around deadlines because the QS will work on several projects at once
- Patience and the desire to examine things carefully and in more detail
- Teamwork abilities, taking into account coordinating work with different departments
- Leadership abilities and moral principles
Pathway for a QS career
Quantity surveyors have a rewarding job in terms of advancement and pay. After earning their degree in quantity surveying, they would begin their careers with a variety of titles such as assistant quantity surveyor, junior quantity surveyor, assistant cost manager, and assistant manager contracts. Any construction contracting company, client company, or consulting organization might be where they began their careers
It will take 10–12 years to go up the career ladder from a fresher QS to becoming an Asst. Vice President (AVP), Asst. Director, or General Manager (GM). According to the Indian construction market, packages range from INR 4.5 lakhs to INR 6.5 lakhs annually, depending on the sort of organization they begin their careers with. For foreign prospects, prices range from INR 10 lakhs to INR 15 lakhs annually. In the Middle East, Singapore, and other regions of the world, there are many prospects for those in the QS profession.
Opportunities for a career as a quantity surveyor
Numerous work opportunities in the construction industry are available to those with a degree in quantity surveying. Due to a lack of graduates, there is a significant demand for quantity surveyors. Some businesses even hire recent graduates with competitive pay. Jobs directly connected to a degree in quantity surveying include:
- Site engineer
- Quantity surveyor
- Site engineer
- Project manager
- Building surveyor
- Planning and development surveyor
- Construction manager
- Commercial/residential surveyor
Both the public and commercial sectors offer graduates several excellent work options. Candidates who study quantity surveying at a reputable university have the specialized knowledge needed for cost planning, procurement, and construction management projects. To acquire the necessary abilities and opportunities to thrive in this sector, selecting the appropriate institution is essential.
Quantity surveying is a highly recommended career path. Quantity surveyors are in high demand in general. Those who go for this career path typically have little trouble finding employment. Additionally, employment in this career line frequently pays extremely well, so one may make a comfortable income while doing what one loves.
Quantity Surveying FAQs
What benefits come with working as a quantity surveyor?
The best of both worlds is available to those looking for a career that balances work in an office setting and/or on a building site because quantity surveyors can opt to specialize and work only for specific clients or contractors.
Do you think quantity surveying has a future?
Given the increasing demand for construction projects, the future of quantity surveying seems bright.
What is a quantity surveyor’s area of responsibility?
To maximize value for money while maintaining the necessary legal requirements and quality, a quantity surveyor will work to reduce project costs and risks.