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Quantity surveyors review designs and plans drawn up by an architect or engineer. They calculate quantities and types of materials to be used and work out timing costs and labour costs involved in the project. Building contracting use this information to work out their budget and estimate costs.
Other roles a quantity surveyor may be responsible for are organising tenders from contractors and providing advice to clients on legal and contractual matters. Quantity surveyors oversee the progress work and check that costs do not exceed the agreed amount ensure that costs are kept to the agreed amounts.
Surveyors use computers extensively for calculations, preparing work schedules, report writing and record keeping. To become a qualified quantity surveyor you will usually need a BTEC/SQA higher national diploma or certificate (HND/HNC), a degree or similar qualification. Qualification as a quantity surveyor can be achieved through the Chartered Institute of Building's (CIOB) Faculty for Architecture and Surveying or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
There is usually a high demand for quantity surveyors, however, this can depend on the housing, commercial and industrial property market.
Many quantity surveyors are employed within local authority or government departments, private practice, building contractors, property companies or commercial organisations both in the UK and abroad.
Freelance, consultancy work and self-employment are also common. Career progression can lead to senior management positions in the various organisations. With experience, an income in the region of £35,000 a year is common.
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