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Types of Quantity Surveyors

Updated on March 24, 2013

Quantity surveyors are construction professionals who; ensure that buildings adhere to codes, design the layout of construction sites, dictate the equipment to be used and ensure that the project remains within the budget during all stages of construction. Quantity surveyors also estimate project costs, make recalculations, determine material types and make other relevant recommendations.

In addition, they perform various other roles such as:

  • Communicate with government agencies on the building codes
  • Coordinate with accountants on the tax compliance and budget observance
  • Liaise with project owners on specifications
  • Partner with other contractors with regard to on deadlines and code adherence

Qualification as a quantity surveyor demands training in a wide variety of skills. As a consequence, most opt to specialize in a particular field of study. Thus, there are several different types of quantity surveyors in practice. The following is list of some of the main types of quantity surveyors:

  • Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor – This professional is responsible for forming sub-contractor relationships and making calculations of all costs related to the project. They are also responsible for making sure that the project remains on budget at all times.
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor – this title is given to the most senior quantity surveyor. It is expected that this professional will take ownership and be responsible for the team. S/he reports daily to the lead partner of the surveying firm.
  • Mechanical and Electrical Quantity Surveyor – as the name implies, this professional is solely responsible for all mechanical and electrical work. These professionals usually specialize in large projects mainly by government.
  • Project Quantity Surveyor – this quantity surveyor prepares bills of quantities, project estimates, and tender appraisals and, carries out project reviews.

While there are different types of quantity surveyors, the actual job positions on a project may not go by the names outlined above. Most job positions on a project go by the following titles:

  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Estimator
  • Cost Engineer
  • Estimating Engineer
  • Estimator and
  • International Surveyor
  • Land Surveyor
  • Logistics Specialist
  • Senior Cost Estimator
  • Structural Engineer

The opportunities for quantity surveyors are in abundance; generally, any individual or company that needs to put a structure will require the services of these professionals. The main employers include architectural firms, engineering firms, construction advisory firms, government departments and law firms.

A quantity surveyor is definitely a valuable asset to any construction project. Failure to hire a quantity surveyor is actually a criminal offence in many jurisdictions. One must also be sure that the professional hired is competent; errors in cost estimates or failing to comply with building codes can prove to be very costly at a later date.

Property owners, occupiers and investors benefit greatly from the services provided by these professionals.


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