Quantity Surveying is a job in the field of civil engineering where cost estimates, resource deployment and detailed analysis takes place for an infra project. People who have expertise in the field of quantity surveying are called quantity surveyors.
The job of a quantity surveyor is very versatile in nature and is just not limited to cost estimation but it goes into most of the aspects of planning related to an infra project. This job is a very professional one and requires lots of expertise, skills and training in order to do justice to the job.
All over the world quantity surveying takes places for infra related projects and therefore quantity surveyors are deployed to carry out the task. Big infra project companies have their own quantity surveying teams while medium to small range companies hire professionals on contractual basis.
To become a quantity surveyor you need to be skilled in this field which can be obtained through a formal course from reputed education institute that imparts education in civil engineering. Internship at reputed quantity surveying firms are needed to get on ground training.
Few months of training nourishes you in this field as a lot of experience is necessary in order to be a professional quantity surveyor.
Education Qualification and Skills to become a Quantity Surveyor:
Quantity surveyors are professional people who have earned the mandated qualification in order to become a surveyor. In order to become one you need to get the required qualifications.
Most of the surveyors have a degree in civil engineering plus diploma in quantity surveying that can have different names in different countries. Bachelor in Technology degree which is a bachelor degree in civil engineering is the most common.
Apart from this, A level mathematics, Higher National Diploma in Surveying, bachelor degree in surveying, or a certificate level course in surveying can work for you depending on acceptability of companies or the employers.
You also need to have good skills in IT, numeracy, and ability to understand technical plans, problem solving, technical ability, design technology, mathematics and physics.
Apart from this, negotiation skills are also a must in this job since you are required to meet with various people from clients to other stakeholders where you have to negotiate on various issues. You need to be persuasive with your words so that you can influence them. This also requires a lot of knowledge of the topic you are discussing about.
Team work is the key since you will be working with a team of people who may have different things to do but have the same goal. Your outcome depends on the input of someone else. In simple words each of you are interdependent on each other therefore you must act as one.
Various government departments and educational authorities have their own course designed and have certified many institutions to impart education in this field. Multiple qualifications in any of these can be advantageous for you.
Training as Quantity Surveyor:
Training or internship as fresher quantity surveyor is necessary in order to know the details of the work that is required to be put as a surveyor. Internships are mostly a practical experience of the real job where you are required to assist your senior.
A month or two is enough in order to get a glimpse and understanding of the practicality of your job and it also gives you the opportunity to implement and test whatever you have learned in your certification program or theoretical training.
Besides this, if you have joined as a fresher then the employer company most probably imparts training to you which may last for either 3 or 6 months. These trainings are extensive and are usually a paid one.
Practical aspects of this job is eventually the most important part where you learn the basics of quantity surveying. From your seniors you will learn all the big and small things which are part of surveying.
In this training period and after it, you will be able to get an idea and will be able to understand the basics of this profession. Trainings are mostly based on fundamentals of your profession while during your job you learn from experiences.
Starting your own Quantity Surveying Business:
If you are willing to start your own quantity surveying business then it is important that you yourself should be a quantity surveyor. This gives you much more advantage than a person who is not from your background.
Obviously, after getting experienced in this field of few years you can aim to start your own business where you cater to the needs of people or companies in quantity surveying. For this a detailed plan is required.
Before you move ahead you need to be clear as to what service you aim to render to your client. What will be your role and how will you deliver. Lastly, how much money will you be making from this.
After reducing the expenditure from the profit earned you can calculate the net profit. If the profit at the end is satisfactory then you can move ahead.
Having worked as an employee also helps you in getting new contracts from clients, you will also be able to mobilize resources, make your own team, determine the job of everyone and you would also be able to execute the job finely based on your experience.
The Job of a Quantity Surveyor:
The job of a quantity surveyor is basically to do cost estimates of an infra project, manage the time estimates for the completion of the project, do the risk management, assist the team in construction as per the plan, to ensure that the project is completed on time and within the budget set for the project.
In reality there are various other things that a quantity surveyor may have to do apart from what is mentioned above. Drafting contract conditions, commercial management, and cost consulting also comes under the ambit of quantity surveyor.
Estimating, contract admission, rendering contractual advice, asset capitalization, payment assessment, and understanding client requirement are all part of the same transaction that is covered under quantity surveying.
Most of the abovementioned jobs are intermingled with each other and sometimes it becomes hard to segregate them from each other. Thus a quantity surveyor needs to be well versed with each of them to be more productive in his work.
Getting into the Details:
The job of a quantity surveyor is of two types. First one is the desk job while the second one is the ground work or onsite work. It depends on your senior supervisor to decide whether you will be onsite or on desk.
Both jobs are in themselves very challenging and require expertise and experience. They also give lots of experience. What makes this job a profession is the amount of excellence, dedication, preciseness and skills that is put.
The job of a quantity surveyor is not of his alone but it is a team work. You have to collaborate with many of your teammates and people from different field work. In building an infrastructure there are various people of different profession that are involved.
Since your job is right into the center where you have to first make estimates by meeting with client, contractor, resource provider and others. You are basically teaming up with all of them to bring them on the same page.
Secondly, you will be supervising the builders, engineers, resource mobilizers, etc. to build the infra and to manage them as per plan. There will also be your team who has prepared the survey.
So basically, you would be in contacts with many people of different field in various capacities with whom you have to talk, negotiate and bring them on the same page and to ensure that they all work in tandem with each other.
This skill can be termed as management skill which is not chiefly a quantity surveying skill. Thus is can be said that you not have to acquire the professional skills of a quantity surveyor but you also need to have good negotiation and management skills.
In nearly all the professions you are required to do a bit more than what you are actually hired for or for what you are actually trained for. People learn some skills while some have that inherent skills.
With experience one becomes a master in the field and shows excellent results. Similarly, the profession of quantity surveyor is also similar where there is an amalgamation of various skills to finally produce a good quantity surveyor.
Here, theoretical skills cannot alone make you a good surveyor but the experience and training you have gone through will shape you to become a professional quantity surveyor.
So in the end, to become a quantity surveyor you not only need to professional degree but also an attitude of seeking knowledge, teaming up with people, hard work, dedication, learning from mistakes and leadership qualities.
That will eventually make you the best in business.