Quantity Surveyor Profession: Important Facts to Understand

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 

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?

demand of quantity surveyorsQuantity 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?

Future of the quantity surveyorA 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?

Future of the quantity surveyorThe 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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