How Do I Become a Quantity Surveyor?

D. Nelson

A quantity surveyor is a building and construction professional who is responsible for analyzing costs and setting budgets for building projects. He or she might also perform contract negotiations and risk management. To become a quantity surveyor, you should have an aptitude for mathematics and critical thinking. Many aspiring quantity surveyors concentrate in subjects such as architecture or construction management, though a concentration in a business field also can be valuable.

A quantity surveyor  might perform contract negotiations and risk management assessment.
A quantity surveyor might perform contract negotiations and risk management assessment.

While you are studying in school to become a quantity surveyor, you can benefit from taking internship opportunities. Working for a construction company, real estate professional, or cost analysis consultant firm gives you the opportunity to learn about real world practices firsthand. If you impress your internship supervisor, you can get a helpful reference from him or her. Some interns even find that when they graduate from college, their first positions are with companies at which they interned.

In some regions, a person who wants to become a quantity surveyor should learn about opportunities for professional certification. Some governments require surveyors to take approved courses and pass proficiency exams before they legally can practice. This is a way to ensure that surveyors are familiar with regulations and codes.

Some kinds of certification are not required by law, but a person who wants to become a quantity surveyor might benefit nonetheless from earning these credentials. Being in good standing with a professional organization can give you access to courses, seminars, and informational resources that keep you informed. Attending professional gatherings gives you opportunities to network with colleagues.

This kind of professional may work either as an independent agent or for a firm. To become a quantity surveyor, you should choose which career path is right for you. Individuals who prefer to work on smaller projects and set their own guidelines might prefer to work independently. Working as a surveyor for a firm, on the other hand, can provide you with greater job security and opportunities for promotion.

Regardless of which path you choose, you should continually make connections and find professionals who are willing to write you letters of reference. A quantity surveyor manages cost of a project, often from its inception to its completion. For this reason, construction professionals only use quantity surveyors whom they trust because they have years of experience and have proven that their methods are successful. References from colleagues and past clients can help you to illustrate your professional reputation.

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