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The Quantity Surveyor

Are you thinking of pursuing a career in the construction industry? Confused as to which particular career to take up? Quantity Surveying is not a bad idea. Whether you are a fresher in the industry or you just need a career change, this interesting career might just be what you need. Quantity Surveying is the keystone that props up the construction industry.

Why not read on to find out what the career entails?

The Job

A Quantity Surveyor (QS) also known as Cost Estimator is a professional with expert knowledge of construction costs. As a Quantity Surveyor, your primary duty is to conduct feasibility studies, calculate the number of materials needed and cost estimation to carry out a construction work from the beginning to the end. This means that your job as a Quantity Surveyor will span through the entire lifecycle of any project.

A Quantity Surveyor gives expert advice on procurement, assist in tendering, prepare bills of quantities (BOQ), assess payment, control cost during design development and identify cost-risk in tender returns. He manages construction projects to ensure that the project is completed on time and within the budget.  He seeks to minimize costs incurred for a project and ensures the clients get value for their money while maintaining the required standard and quality.

Entry Requirements

A degree in building or construction, civil or structural engineering, economics, geography, mathematics, or urban and land studies is a basic requirement to kick-start a career in quantity surveying. With a degree, you can start off your career as a Trainee Surveyor before getting to Quantity Surveyor role. If you do not have a degree, a secondary education can launch you off as a Technical Surveyor (surveying technicians) but, to further your career as a Quantity Surveyor you will need to complete a degree in any of the above-mentioned courses.

Training and Certifications

To become qualified and recognized as a Quantity Surveyor, you must be a member of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. To be a member, you will have to undergo some training and meet certain criteria as stipulated by the body. You must also register with the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN).

If you want more international recognition, you can also become a member of The Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).

There are professional courses you can take up to enhance your skills in this career. The soft and hard skills you need most to succeed as a Quantity Surveyor includes but not limited to: Creativity, innovation & problem-solving skills, strong numeracy and financial management skills, the ability to learn sophisticated design and costing, the ability to write precise reports relating complex information in a simple way to different kinds of people, negotiation and teamwork skills, knowledge of past and current building and construction technology, processes, materials and business.

Working Condition and Salary

Working hours vary depending on the nature of the contract. If you work as a contractor on site, your working hours may be 7.30am to 6.00pm and during weekends. The work is office based (which may be on a construction site) but you will pay a lot of visits to the construction site where the work is ongoing to monitor the progress of the work.

The average salary for a Quantity Surveyor in Nigeria is between 2,400,000 to 3,600,000 per annum but obtaining a chartered status increases your salary and job prospects. Other site allowances are often paid asides the basic salary and benefits such as an official company car for site visits and healthcare may be provided for. Bonuses may be given if targets are met and increase in salary with more qualifications.

Career Progression

To progress in this career line, you must be dedicated, enthusiastic and develop professional competencies by signing up for training programs to better your chances of a career growth.

After attaining the Chartered Quantity Surveyor status, you may continue working across a broad range of disciplines throughout your career or choose to specialize in a certain area and develop an in-depth knowledge of that particular field. For example, project management, risk assessment or supply chain management.

We hope you found this week’s career profiler interesting and useful. If you are interested in this career path or have questions, require further guidance on planning your career or have comments and suggestions, please feel free to contact us at Or you know someone, a friend, a colleague who may find this post interesting, please do share this with them.

We wish you every success in your career…..

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