Quantity surveying is all about cost management of construction. Quantity Surveyor (QS) primarily assesses the capital expenditure of a building or a facility after evaluating the feasibility, design and construction costs.
The scope of work of a quantity surveyor is vast since the construction industry is global in nature.
* In real estate, quantity surveying involves residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and retail facilities.
* In infrastructure, quantity surveying covers airports, waterways, roads, seaports, power generation and utilities.
What Are The Jobs Involved In Quantity Surveying?
A qualified surveyor may work as a consultant in a firm or for a developer in a major company engaged in retail, manufacture or an infrastructure project such as an airport or a power utility. A major national or international contractor can also engage a surveyor. The work includes, but is not limited to the following:
* Preparation of feasibility reports during the conception stage. A QS provides independent, accurate and reliable initial investment costs and running expenditure to enable the client to fund a project.
* Evaluating capital and revenue expenditure of the project during its entire life period.
* Advising clients on procurement of major items after Bill of Quantity (BOQ) preparation.
* Negotiating with interested parties.
* Finalizing the tendering process.
* Managing the contractual documents with suppliers of various items.
* Cost management during construction.
* Providing site support in matters like billing schedule, interim payments, and reconciling final accounts as well as settling construction claims.
Presently, there are approximately 80000 QSs working in the UK. Compensation packages are decent. Salary increases depend on responsibilities undertaken and value added to qualifications. The work is largely office-based with occasional site visits. However, if the need arises, the quantity surveyor may have to work on extended shifts with even overnight stays at construction sites. As regards the general trend, this job is mainly male-dominated, although female entry is on the rise both in the private and public sector. Plenty of opportunities exist for overseas posting. It is quite common today for a quantity surveyor to undertake freelance work. In fact, many firms prefer freelancers as they provide dedicated service to enable faster turnaround time for project execution.
Skill Sets Need By A QS
Good QS must have multi-disciplinary skills, including excellent understanding of construction methodologies and practices. In addition, the surveyor must have the ability to manage finances, must have high degree of IT competency, good attention to detail, an organized approach to work, and excellent negotiating skills. A quantity surveyor’s job involves relating to people from different and varying strata, so excellent interpersonal skills help a lot. Finally, commitment to the job, ability to work under pressure of deadlines nears and staying calm even under adverse situations is the hallmark of a competent QS.
The practices undertaken by construction companies undergo constant change. The Quality surveyor must therefore be up to date on all matters to support corporate feedback. Use of Information Technology is essential for quality improvement purposes and so is cost control. In this highly competitive environment, staying afloat in business is in itself a big challenge. Quantity surveying thus plays a key role in sustaining viability of construction business.