A quantity surveyor, also known as a cost engineer, is responsible for determining the cost of a given construction project with respect to materials, labor, and time. Construction suppliers will place their bids for a project, and the quantity surveyor typically follows and measures a project from the beginning to the end.
Although the quantity surveyor may be considered an independent role in the construction process, they will usually report to a project manager, a project director, or an architect. While many people in this position are contracted by government bodies, it is not uncommon for them to take on and plan smaller private projects as well, assuring that no costs, materials, or labor go outside the previously approved schedule. They act as the middleman between the contractor and the contracted company, so they must be good at negotiating, and also they must be able to present complicated ideas in a simple way.
A quantity surveyor must be personable and reasonable, but also have good math skills and knowledge of the use of space. Creativity and innovation also help in this position, as well as being up to date with current building practices. It is not necessary to have a degree in quantity surveying, but a general degree with a postgraduate course in quantity surveying is typically preferred. In some cases, companies will contract a person and train them into this position. Schedules vary greatly depending on the deadline associated with the construction project and the work takes place both onsite and in an office.
Quantity Surveyor Tasks
Prepare internal cost/value reports for upper management and other departments.
Assist in the identification of commercial risks and opportunities and carry out value engineering exercises as required.
Prepare and manage material procurement schedules
Encourage and develop a culture of contractual awareness and ensure that contracts are fulfilled by rigidly maintaining records, contractual notifications, change control, etc.