Quantity Surveyor Kairūri Utu Hanga Whare
Quantity surveyors manage finances for construction projects. They calculate budgets based on clients' requirements, and prepare detailed estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient for each stage of construction.
Quantity surveyors may apply for New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors membership and work towards professional registration.
Quantity surveyors may do some or all of the following:
- study architects' and engineers' building plans
- prepare a schedule of quantities used in the tendering process (measuring and estimating material and labour costs)
- prepare reports before and during building projects showing costs
- visit building sites to monitor progress
- act as an arbitrator in disputes between clients and building contractors
- offer services in value management (comparing a building's cost to similar buildings).
Useful experience for quantity surveyors includes:
- any building industry work such as labouring on construction sites
- work involving calculations and accounting.
Quantity surveyors need to be:
- good at planning and organising
- ethical and honest
- enquiring and able to think creatively
- able to work well under pressure.
Quantity surveyors need to have:
- knowledge of building methods and materials
- the ability to read and interpret building plans
- skill estimating building, material and labour costs
- an understanding of relevant legislation, including the New Zealand Building Code, the New Zealand Building Act 2004 and local by-laws
- maths and basic accounting skills
- some computer-aided design (CAD) skills.
- work regular business hours and are based in offices
- occasionally travel to visit work sites, where conditions may be dirty and dusty
- may travel to conferences and seminars.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, maths, accounting, economics, digital technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies.
Quantity surveyors may move into senior roles, strategic management, or start their own consultancy business.
They may specialise in a number of roles, including:
- Consultant/Professional Quantity Surveyor
- Consultant or professional quantity surveyors work for a client who is commissioning building. They provide financial advice and estimation services for setting up building contracts, and consult with the contract quantity surveyor. They may also be involved in mediation and arbitration between parties about building contracts.
- Contract Quantity Surveyor
- Contract quantity surveyors work for a building company, and estimate a building's construction costs, manage the building contracts and monitor construction progress. They are often based on-site, and look after sub-contractors and work with the consultant or professional quantity surveyor throughout the project.
- Sub-Contractor Quantity Surveyor
- Sub-contractor quantity surveyors do the same work as contract quantity surveyors, but on a smaller scale. They only work with one trade (for example, timber, aluminium or window companies), rather than contract quantity surveyors who co-ordinate with all the trades.
Years Of Training2-3 years of training usually required.
To become a quantity surveyor you need one of:
- a New Zealand Diploma in Quantity Surveying
- a Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics or Quantity Surveying) – offered at Massey University and Unitec. This qualification will make it easier to move into management.
- New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors website - information on qualifications and training providers
- Massey University website - information about the Bachelor of Construction (Quantity Surveying) programme (Auckland)
- Unitec website - information about the Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics) programme (Auckland)