What influences someone to become a Quantity Surveyor? The answer could be family influence via a parent who is a Quantity Surveyor or possibly an industrial professional who has an entrusted role to provide career advice. Or it might be the result of a review of career study options in school or college or via a friend employed in the industry who consider it a suitable role for a certain individual. Traits within a personality may assist with the progression of skills. So what are the top skills and traits of a QS?

Skill 1: Mathematics

This requires you to work backwards, you start with what you expect the income of the project to be, what investments are needed to achieve that goal. This includes defining the project’s goals, tasks, phases, costs, deliverables, and deadlines. The project scope also identifies internal stakeholders as well as external clients and customers.

Skill 2: Concentration

An ability to concentrate for long periods and accepting the office as part of the working environment is essential to being a good Quantity Surveyor. This applies on or off a building site.

Skill 3: Communicator

Quantity surveyors require good literacy and concise communication skills, including a good command of oral and written techniques and the ability to use information technology systems. Language for reporting on project activities needs to be precise, with an understanding of when and where to use jargon as not all readers may understand every aspect of the professional language used. Where possible the use of diagrams to illustrate points will make better communication than describing something with a thousand words.

Trait 1: Systematic & Orderly

Traits also stem from a person who is systematic, orderly and a reliable team member. For example, a quantity surveyor may prepare a bill of quantities that describes trade works for an estimator who relies on the bill to include descriptions and measures that are clearly understood in order to produce an estimate of cost to construct a project.

Trait 2: Competent & Reliable

Competency stems from a sound knowledge of the building process that embraces materials, customs, construction technology and economic factors. In addition, suitable skills are required to understand the role of industrial relations and the range of disciplines involved for a project. The quantity surveyor requires an understanding of project management and knowledge of contract law including the reasons for a contract to exist which is valuable for the administration of a project.

Trait 3: Enjoys the building process

Natural prerequisites would be to enjoy the building process, as well as having a thirst for knowledge of building techniques and customs and the ability to thrive being a team member with an attitude of wanting to learn.


Construction Quantity Surveying A Practical Guide for the Contractor’s QS

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