Quantity Surveying

Career options

Surveying is an incredibly broad profession but the main disciplines fall into three main sectors - land, property, and construction. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides a useful overview. Although a RICS accredited degree will provide you with transferable core skills and business knowledge, you will also need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) in order to practice as a Chartered Surveyor with the MRICS designation.

There are three main groupings of pathways - property, construction and land and within these there are specialist pathways. Quantity Surveying falls under the Construction pathway. For more detail, take a look at Careers in Property to get a useful overview of these pathways as well as profiles of top firms and case studies of graduates working for them. 

As a Quantity Surveyor you could be doing anything from undertaking cost analysis for a repair project to advising on various phases of the next Olympic stadiums.

You can explore a range of options within the construction sections on TARGETjobs and Prospects, where there are some informative job profiles and case studies of recent graduates including Quantity Surveyor .

Chartered surveying is not your only option. Bear in mind that many graduate jobs consider graduates from any discipline and you will have developed key transferable skills that could be applied to a range of settings. If you are thinking wider and would like some support please refer to the Planning Your Future and See An Adviser sections of this website.  

Where can I work?

A range of opportunities exist within the private and public sectors both in the UK and abroad. Typical employers include professional practices, building and civil engineering contractors, local authorities and government departments.

Destinations of recent Sheffield Hallam graduates

Examples include:

  • Assistant Commercial Manager for Lend Lease Group
  • Quantity Surveyor for Nass Contracting
  • Chartered Surveyor for Faithful and Gould


In addition to having specialist knowledge relevant to the particular role common skills and qualities typically sought after include:

  • a practical and logical mind and a methodical way of thinking
  • a creative and innovative approach to problem-solving
  • good oral and written communication skills, including presentation and report writing skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • strong numeracy and financial management skills and the ability to learn sophisticated design and costing IT packages
  • the ability to write clear and precise reports and to relate complex information in a simple way to a diverse range of people
  • negotiating and team-working skills and the ability to motivate and lead those on site
  • detailed knowledge of past and current building and construction technology, processes, materials, business and legal matters
  • commercial awareness and ability to ensure you are adding maximum value to clients' businesses
  • ability to work under pressure and accept responsibility

You can develop these skills through study, experience and personal interests and achievements so think broadly when giving evidence in applications.

The full Higher Education Academy (HEA) Employability Profile - Building/Surveying outlines the knowledge, skills and competencies you can develop as a student and those required by employers in depth. Section 4 contains some useful reflective questions that can help you with personal development planning. There are a lot of questions here but dipping into them regularly can really help you raise your self-awareness, and is fantastic preparation for future job or placement interviews.

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer led organisations that aim to reduce skills gaps and shortages to improve productivity and performance and to increase opportunities to boost the skills of each sector's workforce. Construction Skills and The Building Futures Group are most relevant and contain a wealth of useful careers and employability information such as career profiles and case studies, relevant industry events and news and reports on skills gaps.


Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:14