A quantity surveyor is responsible for much of the preparation work on a construction site before the actual project or building begins. Many of the responsibilities include measuring the entire site for production, creating a budget and managing the team of employees that will complete the project. Not only does a quantity surveyor take on the role of manager for employees, but he is also the manager for the budget, the equipment and the progression of work.
One reason why quantity surveying is an exciting career path is the strategic aspect of the work. The position not only focuses on measuring up the site and working out an approximate price for the project but also incorporates strategic methods to make it cheaper for the client. Strategic planning includes preparing tenders, designing an efficient economic plan and developing a method of building that ensures high quality of all work performed on the site.
Project diversity is another reason why quantity surveying is an exciting career path. No two projects are identical, which means that the quality surveyor will face new challenges when measuring sites and calculating project costs for clients. If the surveyor is working as an independent contractor, the employees working below him on the job site will also change with each project, bringing in a new level of diversity.
Avoiding the Office
Most of the work is done on the site, and travel is often part of the job, since the sites will change with each project. Quantity surveyors are responsible for all stages of the management and construction work, so it is rare that these workers follow a set 9-to-5 work day.
Although a quantity surveyor is a single person on a job site, he works closely with clients and employees to get the work done fast and effectively with the lowest costs possible. A quantity surveyor works as part of a team, even though he is the main manager on site. The surveyor works closely with the team of employees doing the construction work, as well as the client to update with construction progression, costs and overall quality of the work.
Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.