Quantity surveyor

Quantity surveyor - overview

Quantity surveyors have strong analytical and problem-solving skills plus a firm understanding of mathematics, engineering and construction. They use this skill set to estimate and manage costs for construction projects. Learn more about what it takes to become a quantity surveyor here.

Learn what the role involves below.


What does a quantity surveyor do?

As a quantity surveyor, you have the choice of working for lots of different companies depending on your interests. For example, you might work for an architect, property developer or a commercial business. No matter what the industry, your goal will be to reduce costs and risks for building projects.

Your responsibilities will vary depending on whether you choose to work for a private quantity surveyor (PQS) or for a contractor. As a PQS you'll work with clients on design, deciding on a budget and sending out a tender to contractors. As a contractor you'll work on site liaising with the PQS. Quantity surveyors work closely with clients so interpersonal skills are a must.

What will your days involve?

Daily tasks will vary but could involve:

  • Preparing budgets for tenders and calculating materials, labour, time, quantities, etc.
  • Working closely with clients on costs, maintaining communication throughout each project
  • Performing risk assessments
  • Considering health and safety regulations
  • Recording and managing changes to design/construction and adjusting costs accordingly
  • Writing reports
  • Assigning work to subcontractors and monitoring their progress
  • Etablishing a timetable for the project and defining budgetary constraints


How much can you earn as a quantity surveyor?

The average salary for a quantity surveyor in the UK is £42,120. Graduates start at around £32,000.

Does a quantity surveyor role involve travel in the UK or overseas?

Quantity surveyors travel for work to visit construction sites. They may stay overnight or travel overseas depending on the project.

Can you work from home as a quantity surveyor?

Quantity surveyors generally work from an office or construction site.