5 things you need to know about Quantity Surveying

03 Dec 2020
Have you ever wondered what is quantity surveying? Is it about doing a survey of quantities?

Well… you aren’t far off.

Quantity Surveying is an integral part of the construction industry and quantity surveyors have a very specific role to play. They are pivotal in managing the cost of any construction project and therefore posses a very specific skill. Here are 5 things you need to know!

Quantity surveying is not only about cost
While cost consulting, cost estimating and cost planning are important aspects of quantity surveying, there are other important tasks that are done by quantity surveyors. These functions include value determination, risk management and calculation, tendering analysis, procurement advice and assistance especially during tendering, preparation of pricing documents, drafting contract conditions, commercial management, contract administration, contractual advice, asset capitalisation, assistance in dispute resolution, payment assessment, project management and understanding client requirements. Now that’s a whole lot of knowledge and skills!

According to Dr Chia Chee Ming, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at SEGi University, Quantity Surveying is a very unique course as it has both science and arts elements in it.

“You can join this programme with either a Foundation in Science or a Foundation in Arts background,” says Dr Chia. For students who are undecided on what to pursue, I would suggest considering quantity surveying as a quantity surveyor is line an accountant of the building world. It’s rather interesting and a much needed role in all building industries.”

Professional get the choice of who they want to work for
We often think that quantity surveyors work for construction companies. Well, that not really true. They also have the option of working for the clients. While working for construction companies brings with itself a new set of challenges and satisfaction, working for the clients is different. These surveyors can be involved with the projects from the beginning and work as a bridge between the client and the construction company. They also have a more or less desk job where they can stick to office hours, and therefore this career path is for everyone – the adventurous and the comfortable!

It is a suitable career for both men and women
Another common misconception is that this profession is ideal for men. While the number of women in the building industry has been around 11%, quantity surveying has seen an impressive number of women joining the industry. One of the most famous lady quantity surveyors is Patricia Power who has done impressive work to showcase the attractiveness of this profession for women. Women who work on the client side actually live a life not much different from a finance or business executive. Work timings are normal, work life balance is maintained and they get the satisfaction of contributing to the skylines of the world.

It is a profession for travel lovers
Quantity Surveyors are in high demand especially in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the US. If you love to travel, you will love this profession. Apart from excellent experiences and salary, it provides an excellent experience with a lot of opportunities to travel. You can work anywhere in the world and earn a handsome living, as consultancies require quantity surveyors to visit client premises as part of their role.

It pays well and provides good career opportunities
The starting salary of quantity surveying graduates is pretty impressive, in fact, higher than the average industrial wage as per a report published by the Society of Chartered Surveyors, Ireland. The job also has commensurate perks which vary from employer to employer and includes benefits such as company car, employee benefits and schemes, incentives and other things. Career-wise, quantity surveyors have a defined career progression, in most countries, quantity surveyors can rise up to the level of the board of directors. The opportunities are endless.

Quantity surveying is a profession with multiple benefits. Not only can one develop the skills, but they can also become a chartered professional in the field. With the growing emphasis on green building and technological advancement, the profession of quantity surveyors will remain at the forefront of the building industry in the coming years. This is the time to be in the profession and reap the benefits.
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