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Quantity surveying is an important yet underrated profession in the field of built environment. Read on to find out more.

A quantity surveyor’s job is as important as the architects and contractors involved in a building project. While the architect designs and contractors build, quantity surveyors are cost managers and quality control officers. A quantity surveyor gives advice to clients on how a building is put together and what component parts are needed. Most importantly, a quantity surveyor is responsible for calculating the cost of those components and the total cost of an entire project.
The Role of a Quantity Surveyor
Quantity surveyors are responsible for the management and planning of a building project from the beginning to the end. In addition, they prepare the necessary contracts and tender documents on building materials required. Also, they oversee a particular project during construction and make sure everything runs smoothly. During this period, quantity surveyors carry out an ongoing cost analysis of any repair work, issue payments to contractors, and delegate upcoming work to construction workers. Furthermore, quantity surveyors have to plan site visits and carry out research for future projects. At the end of the day, quantity surveyors ensure their client’s project is value for money and that their client is satisfied with the end product.
Qualifying as a Quantity Surveyor
After finishing a suitable pre-university programme, students should enrol in institutions that offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Quantity Surveying. This degree will take up to three and a half years to complete, as some programmes offer a semester of industrial training or internship. In the first year, students will learn the basics of the construction industry through subjects like Measurement and Site Surveying. After that, students will be taught how to use the latest software such as BuildSoft & Masterbuild that is a useful project costing tool for quantity surveyors. Other subjects in a Quantity Surveying degree include Project Management and Construction Law.
To be a qualified quantity surveyor, graduates have to register with the Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia (BQSM). This is followed by finding employment that is supervised by the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) for two years. After that, individuals have to sit for a professional interview and exam set by BQSM and RISM. Only those who pass will be recognised as a Registered Quantity Surveyor in Malaysia.
Job Opportunities
Quantity surveying is a job where prior work experience is highly valued. Also, those who are passionate about the construction trade and buildings will be more appealing to employers. The places that need quantity surveyors include construction companies, engineering consultancy firms, property developers and local government agencies. Those who hold a degree in Quantity Surveying do not necessarily have to be quantity surveyors. Other job titles that they can pursue include Building Material Manager, Construction Executive, Contract Executive, Cost Manager, and Project
Coordinator. Furthermore, experienced quantity surveyors can choose to specialise in an area in the construction industry such as Property Taxation or Costing Advice later in their career.
Skills Needed
As being a quantity surveyor revolves around crunching numbers, fantastic mathematical and numerical skills are a must. Next, strong IT skills are needed when it comes to using computer software for cost calculation and project planning. Quantity surveyors also need to have good communication skills as they meet all kinds of clients, contractors and architects on a daily basis. Next, quantity surveyors must be organised as they have to work on a few projects at once. Other than that, successful quantity surveyors have good problem-solving and negotiation skills. Quantity surveying is a great career to pursue if you are good with numbers and people! Not many people might know what they do, but quantity surveyors are extremely valued in their field of work.
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