Since the impact of a quantity surveyor in the construction industry is greatly overwhelming, It has captured many individuals in picking an interest in what a quantity surveyor profession entails,
This has brought to the table, questions such as what does a quantity surveyor do?
It’s no news that they are experts well-equipped with the knowledge on how to manage cost and enhance value in the construction sector.
Quantity surveyors have helped clients get the best value for their money.
The need and essence of a cost expert in the construction industry and the built environment at large have attracted many into picking a special interest in the quantity surveying profession.
An Illumination on the whole facet of the quantity surveying profession would be fully dispensed in this article.
The quantity surveying profession
Quantity surveying is a profession developed since the 19th century, earlier then, Quantity surveyors were referred to as “measurers”.
The History of quantity surveying gives more ardent details on the background and practice of the quantity surveying profession
A quantity surveyor is a professional in the construction industry that is fully trained, qualified, and experienced in dealing with all the finance concerned activities involved in the construction industry
Quantity surveyors are majorly the cost expert or cost controllers whose prime task is to ensure a construction project is kept within the agreed budget
Because of their knowledge in valuation and cost management, they have the best understanding of using the most minimal resources to bringing maximum value to construction
Quantity surveyors are unique, due to the major role they play in the construction industry, they happen to be one of the top professionals in the construction industry
Quantity Surveyor professional body
Is there a governing global body regulating and guiding the quantity surveying profession? Yes there is, The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors RICS
RICS is a globally recognized professional body that establishes and enforces regulations and standards about aspects of the built environment
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure.
The work of RICS professionals is hugely varied and essential in the construction industry
How to become a professional quantity surveyor
To become a professional quantity surveyor one must be a member or fellow in any of the globally recognized quantity surveying body
Aside from the RICS which spearheads and oversees everything related to the costing profession
Most countries also have their respective professional bodies guiding and governing the costing profession
In other to become a registered and qualified quantity surveyor one must be recognized and licensed by these bodies
A qualified professional quantity surveyor is referred to as a Chartered surveyor
For one to become a chartered surveyor, he/she must have gone through the school of learning, earn a degree in quantity surveying, Write and pass the test of professional competency (TPC) exam given by the body
If successful, such individual can be referred to as a Chartered surveyor, a Registered Quantity surveyor (RQS), or a Professional Quantity surveyor (PQS)
This answers the question “what is the difference between a QS and an RQS?”
Where an RQS is a member or fellow fully recognized and licensed to practice the Costing profession by the quantity surveying professional body
A QS might be yet to pass the professional body exam or receive the license to practice and spearhead vital roles in construction by the professional body
One is still a QS if he/she is yet to pass the professional body exam or if such individual is still a student
More so even if after graduating with a Quantity surveying degree, you’re yet to still tag yourself as an RQS
Not until you have been under the mentorship and guidance of a Senior Quantity Surveyor (SQS) i.e. a chartered surveyor with vast experience in the costing profession
And have written and passed the test of professional competency exam given by the body
Only then can you be licensed and tagged as a professional registered quantity surveyor.
You can’t call yourself a Registered or professional Quantity surveyor if you’re yet to pass the professional body exam and get licensed by the professional body
In conclusion, to become a verified professional Quantity surveyor, You must be recognized and registered with the professional body governing the region you’re based in.
Is quantity surveying fading away?
No, the quantity surveying profession is not fading away or neither is it going extinct any time soon
As long as the construction of the building and Civil engineering projects will never fade out so also will the quantity surveying profession
A quantity surveyor has many unique dynamic roles and functions in the construction industry
Activities ranging from cost planning, cost control, valuation, arbitration and dispute resolution, measurement, financial planning, value engineering, cost management, Project management, etc.
To mention but a few, These essential roles in the construction industry are what Quantity surveyors are fully trained for and specialized at.
With this, the Quantity surveying profession can not fade away rather it will continue to dominate and illuminate over every nook and cranny of the environment
Is Quantity surveying a dying profession?
Nope! You can’t call an Evolving profession a dying profession, get this straight
The Quantity surveying profession is a dynamic profession that has evolved and adapted to the ever-changing trends and development in the construction industry
As technology advances and brings new ways of doing things in the construction industry
So has all professionals in the construction industry including quantity surveyors adapted and evolved to the new market trend and demand of the construction industry
Quantity surveyors have dynamic roles in the construction industry that will forever be in need
No matter the technological evolution or change that will occur in the construction industry, a Quantity surveyor will always be in demand, this is inevitable
Can BIM make Quantity surveying a Dying profession?
BIM cannot make Quantity surveying a dying profession, Rather BIM has helped in the awareness and value of quantity surveyors in the construction industry
The Quantity surveyor is the only professional in the construction industry that is best fit in utilizing these BIM softwares for such an aspect
This has made BIM a complementing factor to the costing profession rather than a Competing one
The profession has grown and adapted to newer dynamic roles in the construction industry thus increasing their demand and need than ever before
This makes quantity surveying a growing profession rather than a dying profession
Does BIM help save costs more than the Quantity surveyor?
One can make huge cost savings utilizing BIM software, BIM helps to correct all the mistakes that would have happened digitally before been erected physically
However, this is not a threat to the Quantity surveying profession but an advantage rather
Quantity surveyors have proper knowledge on how to minimize cost and still maintain value digitally using BIM softwares
Aside from the knowledge, Quantity Surveyors are the only professionals that can actualize those cost-saving made digitally by these BIM softwares into reality
This has helped to save cost and enhance value in many construction projects
So back to the question, Does BIM help save costs more than a Quantity Surveyor?
The answer is No, BIM helps save cost on behalf of the quantity surveyor and not more than the quantity surveyor
As it is the quantity surveyor that spearheads these BIM cost-related softwares
Is quantity surveying a good career
Quantity surveyors are the key players in the construction industry, it’s a good career to venture in, their uniqueness and usefulness in the construction industry is ever evident
The specialist knowledge in cost planning and management you get from attaining a quantity surveying degree will prepare you for a great career in the construction industry
Quantity surveyors estimate and control costs for large construction projects. They make sure that structures meet legal and quality standards.
Quantity surveyors are involved in every type of construction project, be it residential, commercial, or industrial projects
Clients always rely on them to ensure that the outcome is a maximum value for money.
Another beautiful reason why Quantity surveying is a good career path is that Quantity surveyors can choose to specialize and work exclusively for clients or contractors
That is you can choose a career of being either a Client quantity surveyor or a Contractor Quantity Surveyor
Are Quantity surveyors in demand?
Quantity Surveyors will always be in Demand because they make a huge contribution to the success of projects in the construction industry
Any Construction work, ranging from simple building works to complex civil engineering works, from Inception down to Completion
Quantity surveyors are always involved to ensure a smooth run and success of the project ideally according to the client’s taste and pocket.
Quantity surveyors keen understanding and expertise in cost and construction management have made them always high in demand in the construction sector
Their management and valuation skills are second to none, this makes them matchless and highly valuable in the construction industry
Quantity surveyors will always be in demand as long as construction projects are forever in demand
Future of the quantity surveying profession?
A Quantity Surveyor will be needed now and even in the future because it is the most uniquely evolving dynamic profession in the construction industry
The quantity surveying profession has a broader sense than any other professional in the construction industry
Their flexibility and adaptation to a wide range and functions of different activities in the construction industry has made them unique and securely stable and capable for the future
Aside from their traditional role, Quantity surveyors deal with a wide variety of functions,
They know a lot and understand more of the construction industry than any other professional
That’s why they have a broader sense of need and value in the construction industry
Client’s prefers Quantity Surveyors appointed as project managers than other professionals
This is expected because they are truly the most capable in the construction industry at taking such a role among the other professionals
In terms of Arbitration and Dispute resolution, Quantity surveyors are seen to be the best fit and the most experienced professionals to settle disputes and contractual conflicts in the construction industry.
While the traditional role of quantity surveyors such as taking off and preparation of BOQ may fade away in the future
The application of knowledge such as Valuation, cost management, cost planning, Building development, and Economics, Arbitration and Litigation, etc. will never fade out
This knowledge will always be useful and needed in the construction industry
The client now realizes that money and time management is key and very important in ensuring a successful project
And Quantity surveyors are just the right professionals in doing just that
What does the future hold for quantity surveyors?
The profession of quantity surveying has faced and withstood many challenges, such as changes in demands in the market, unstable economic conditions in the construction industry
In its development compared to when it first came into existence, It has grown and survived the storms to an extent that today it is a notable profession in the construction industry.
“Some of what Quantity Surveyors used to do is fading however what they now do is growing”
It is true that in the nearest future, traditional quantity surveying, especially calculating bills of quantities might be on its way out.
But modern quantity surveying roles are now the basis of the future in the construction industry
One thing is certain about quantity surveyors irrespective of their new roles and responsibilities
They have a goal ultimatum of always ensuring clients get the best value for money.
And this goal can never be replaced or Misinterpreted
Is quantity surveying future proof?
Quantity surveying is Highly Future proof and well fit for the future
In terms of job opportunities, As long as there’s construction in the future, there will always be a place for Quantity Surveyors
Technology has already and will continue to play a huge role in the development of the Quantity Surveying profession
Advancements in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and measurement software have already altered the services and roles undertaken by the traditional Quantity Surveyor.
Quantity Surveyors today cannot be universally attached with one definition, As a result of their expanded role and the multitude of services offered
They are labeled and recognized with different alternative titles such as Cost Consultants, Cost Engineers, Commercial Managers, project managers, cost managers, etc.
As with regards to the fact that the construction markets are now demanding Quantity surveyors who are more generalized and well knowledgeable than the ordinary traditional Quantity surveyor
The future of construction depends on the value and quality of construction work, and Quantity surveyors specialize majorly in that
Core skills of cost management and cost engineering will always remain and be embedded with Quantity Surveyors no matter what the future holds
Will technology replace Quantity surveyors?
Technology has not come to replace quantity surveyors but to enhance their dominance rather
Many believe that the Quantity surveying profession is under threat and likely to be replaced with software packages in the near future.
But little did they understand that the emergence of these softwares has cemented the essence of a quantity surveyor more than ever before
These softwares especially BIM softwares are here to complement the profession rather than replace it
“Quantity Surveyors are the most qualified professionals in the construction industry in terms of Cost planning and interpretation, So with BIM softwares now in place, Quantity surveyors would be needed in any construction design team more than ever before for key interpretation and proper actualization to reality”
Quantity Surveyors will always have higher efficiency and effectiveness in the construction industry most especially with the bits of help of this new innovative softwares
The biggest challenge for Quantity Surveyors
One of the most important characteristics of a good Quantity surveyor is that he/she must not be dogmatic and myopic
This would be the biggest challenge for quantity Surveyor who lacks such important characteristics
A Good Quantity surveyor must always learn and adapt to new ways of doing things that are better than the former ways, they must be flexible and resourceful
Quantity surveyors must understand that their continuous uniqueness and usefulness solely depends on what they have to offer in the construction industry
However, it appears clear that the role is not going to fade away. Instead, it is ever-growing and adapting to new requirements and responsibilities.
Therefore Quantity surveyors must continue to overcome this challenge as they have always done in times past
With these vivid explanations, you will get a clearer and better understanding of the uniqueness and essence of the Quantity surveying profession
What the future holds for quantity surveyors, professional body guiding Quantity surveyors, misconceptions of BIM with Quantity surveyors, challenges for quantity surveyors, all of which have been explained fully in this article. Thanks
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