What does a quantity surveyor do? A guide to the role

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

Ever wondered how much a building costs to construct? A quantity surveyor is the mastermind behind the finances of a construction project, ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish! They’re the financial guardians, keeping costs in check and ensuring value for money throughout the entire process.

Main Responsibilities of a Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors wear many hats! Here’s a breakdown of their key tasks:

  • Cost Estimating and Planning: They meticulously estimate the entire project’s cost, considering materials, labour, and equipment. They factor in potential risks and create a budget to keep everything on track.
  • Contract Administration: They draft and manage contracts between clients, contractors, and subcontractors, ensuring all parties are aware of their financial obligations.
  • Cost Control and Monitoring: Throughout the project, quantity surveyors keep a watchful eye on expenses. They track variations in costs, identify areas for savings, and ensure the project stays within budget.
  • Risk Management: They proactively identify and assess potential risks that could impact the project’s finances. By taking preventative measures, they help mitigate these risks and safeguard the project’s budget.
  • Statutory Compliance: Quantity surveyors ensure the project adheres to all relevant building regulations and legal requirements.

How to Become a Quantity Surveyor in Scotland

If you’re good with numbers, enjoy problem-solving, and have an eye for detail, then a career in quantity surveying could be a great fit for you! Most employers seek candidates with a degree in Quantity Surveying or a related field, such as construction management or engineering. Apprenticeship programs are also available, offering a blend of on-the-job training and academic learning.

Skills You Need

To excel as a quantity surveyor, you’ll need a strong foundation in:

  • Mathematics and analytical skills: Numbers are your bread and butter! You’ll need to be comfortable with calculations, cost analysis, and financial modelling.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking: Identifying potential issues and finding solutions is key.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills: Collaborating with architects, engineers, and contractors requires clear and effective communication.
  • Computer literacy: Proficiency in construction software and project management tools is essential.
  • Attention to detail: A keen eye for detail ensures accuracy in estimates and financial records.


The job market for quantity surveyors in Scotland is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. With an interest in construction and a knack for numbers, a career in quantity surveying offers a secure and rewarding path. So, if you’re looking to make your mark on the construction industry, becoming a quantity surveyor could be the perfect opportunity!

Search the most recent quantity surveyor roles on s1jobs.