The skills needed to be a Quantity Surveyor (QS) are not all to do with qualifications. Whilst it is important to look at accredited degrees it doesn’t matter if you go straight through or use a postgraduate conversion course to help you get there. Whether you choose the route through the Chartered Institute of Building or prefer to look at getting accredited by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and completing an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). You need to have other skills alongside these credentials.
What do you need to be skilled at?
Despite credentials you may have, skills are different. To be a chartered quantity surveyor and carry out the day to day role, it doesn’t matter if you are part time or office-based, you still need skills in multiple areas.
Most qualifications you gain in your path to becoming a Quantity Surveyor help you to become skilled in the areas you need. As a Quantity Surveyor, you need to be able to plan a construction project. A huge part of the role is project management, and this is a skill you cannot underestimate.
Quantity surveying is something that means you also need to be skilled in feasibility studies, producing a bill of quantities, and able to manage the costs of a construction project. These are all skills that you learn in your education to become a QS.
What other skills should a QS have?
As we said, project management is vital to the role and therefore you need to be team orientated. Managing the various teams involved in a construction project, you need to make sure they all work as a team. The skills that will help you to do this are communication and interpersonal skills. The art of communication can be the difference in a project running smoothly or facing issues due to misunderstandings.
Given a large number of people you will be dealing with the chances are you are going to face conflicts. Therefore, it is important to be skilled at diplomacy and mediation to make sure that you can mediate resolutions to conflicts and solve problems swiftly.
As the person dealing with managing the costs of a project numeracy skills are vital. It means that you can provide accurate reports and not get caught out by mistakes that cost money. Another skill you will need is to be able to negotiate. The role of a QS is to be able to produce estimates and then come in under budget, this means you’ll need to negotiate rates at almost every step of the way.
Other skills that will help you as a QS include IT skills. You need to be composed given the high-pressure that comes with construction projects and the management of them. Organisation skills mean that you stay on track and don’t miss deadlines or forget things.
If you also have an excellent knowledge of the construction industry, construction sites, the public sector, and relevant laws for construction, this will go a long way to helping you succeed as a Quantity Surveyor.