Quantity Surveying

A quantity surveyor is a professional responsible for estimating costs and maintaining a budget for a construction company. They ensure that the structures under construction meet the required legal and quality standards. These surveyors are often involved at each stage of a project. They make sure that a project does not exceed its set budget by communicating with clients, construction workers and a construction company’s accounting department. They often visit construction sites to monitor a project’s progress and to ensure that construction activities fall under a prescribed budget.
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What does a quantity surveyor do?

The primary duties of a quantity surveyor include

Providing an estimate for material costs: Quantity surveyors consider the type and amount of material needed for a construction project, as well as other expenses involved, to provide an estimate of its cost to clients.

Analysing construction blueprints:
They often study blueprints to analyse various aspects of construction like costs, time schedule and materials required. They must also ensure that the construction adheres to building regulations like health and safety.

Negotiating contracts to stay within a budget: When creating a budget for each project, quantity surveyors often write and negotiate contracts between their clients and the construction company. They estimate costs, time and material labour required and match it to the available budget.

Developing documents that track costs: Developing documents pertaining to finance, budgets and contracts is a common duty of quantity surveyors. They may track purchases using receipts, or they might record recent orders to account for all used materials.

quantity surveying

Managing projects: Quantity surveyors also manage projects to ensure they maintain their set budgets. They liaise with clients and contractors to identify their requirements. They may provide advice to clients, helping them choose the most cost-effective materials for a project.

Resolving discrepancies related to a company’s finances: These professionals thoroughly analyse a company’s finances to find any mistakes that might result in financial harm. They ensure that the clients get a reasonable bargain that is economical for them.

Travelling to job sites: Quantity surveyors often travel to construction sites to ensure that the work is progressing according to schedule and that raw materials are available. They also have to value completed works and oversee payments.

Reviewing an existing budget: They often review a company’s existing budget to determine whether any changes may improve a company’s finances. They may also reduce or increase funding to parts of a company when it is necessary and efficient to do so.
Identifying commercial risks: Quantity surveyors are responsible for weighing in the market fluctuations in costs and labour to identify any commercial risks in projects. Good analytical skills can help them to come up with innovative solutions to problems.

Quantity surveying is a highly sought after job with good work-life balance and attractive earning potential. There is also ample scope for advancement and specialisation in this field. You may start your career from posts like assistant quantity surveyor, assistant cost manager or assistant manager and go up to assistant vice president, assistant director or general manager. Since there is a boom in the infrastructure and construction sectors due to rapid urbanisation in the country, the number of jobs in this sector are also expected to increase.