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Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyors oversee construction projects, managing risks and controlling costs.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Quantity surveyor jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • find out a client's needs and assess if the plans are feasible
  • work out quantities and costs of materials, time and labour for tenders
  • negotiate contracts and work schedules
  • advise on legal matters, including risks and disputes
  • monitor sub-contractors and stages of construction
  • report on costs and prepare accounts for payment
  • keep up to date with construction methods and materials
  • follow health and safety and building regulations

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a client's business or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • a graduate training scheme

You could do a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Useful degree subjects include:

  • construction
  • structural or civil engineering
  • maths
  • geography
  • economics
  • land studies

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

You could take a surveying technician advanced apprenticeship, followed by further training on the job, or a chartered surveyor or construction quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start work as a surveying technician or surveying assistant, and study part-time to become a quantity surveyor.

Other routes

You could get a postgraduate surveying qualification through a graduate trainee scheme with a company or through distance learning with the University College of Estate Management.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a quantity surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Go Construct.

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With experience, you could become a senior quantity surveyor or move into senior project management, supply chain management, consultancy work or self-employment.

You could specialise in areas like planning, risk assessment or contract disputes.

Another option is to move into lecturing at a university or college.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • persistence and determination
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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