Quantity surveyors are among the most important staff working on building and construction projects, as they manage the costs involved from the design stage right the way through to completion.
Tasks such as undertaking cost analysis, ensuring work meets legal and quality standards, and preparing tender documents and bills of quantities all require a certain level of expertise, so the career has strict entry requirements.
Anyone seeking employment in the field needs a qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).There are some quantity surveying degrees available, but a more common entry route into the profession is an undergraduate degree in construction, civil or structural engineering followed by a Rics-approved postgraduate course.
House builders, civil engineering firms, construction companies and public sector organisations all need quantity surveyors, so there are plenty of opportunities for qualified staff.
Many quantity surveyors opt to work on a short or medium-term contract basis via recruitment agencies, as project work is often more lucrative than a permanent job.
Newly-qualified staff can expect a starting salary in the range of £25,000 to £30,000, while the average pay for someone with five years' experience is around £40,000.Surveyors who achieve chartered status or develop expertise in a high-value sector of the construction industry, such as rail or water, can earn in excess of £55,000.