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December 26, 2016

Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors manage finances for construction projects. They calculate budgets based on clients’ requirements, and prepare detailed estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient for each stage of construction.

Current job prospects

Job opportunities for quantity surveyors are good due to a shortage of workers.

What you will do

Quantity surveyors may do some or all of the following:

  • study architects’ and engineers’ building plans
  • prepare a schedule of quantities used in the tendering process (measuring and estimating material and labour costs)
  • prepare reports before and during building projects showing costs
  • visit building sites to monitor progress
  • act as an arbitrator in disputes between clients and building contractors
  • offer services in value management (comparing a building’s cost to similar buildings).

Skills and knowledge

Quantity surveyors need to have:

  • knowledge of building methods and materials
  • the ability to read and interpret building plans
  • skill estimating building, material and labour costs
  • an understanding of relevant legislation, including the New Zealand Building Code, the New Zealand Building Act 2004 and local by-laws
  • maths and basic accounting skills
  • some computer-aided design (CAD) skills.

Working conditions

Quantity surveyors:

  • work regular business hours and are based in offices
  • occasionally travel to visit work sites, where conditions may be dirty and dusty
  • may travel to conferences and seminars.

Personal requirements

Quantity surveyors need to be:

  • good at planning and organising
  • ethical and honest
  • enquiring and able to think creatively
  • able to work well under pressure.

Useful experience

Useful experience for quantity surveyors includes:

  • any building industry work such as labouring on construction sites.
  • work involving calculations and/or accounting.

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