How do I become a Quantity Surveyor?

Many Quantity Surveyors start off their careers after finishing an undergraduate degree in Quantity Surveying at University. Some may have completed a degree within a general construction topic and moved into quantity surveying through their career pathway.

A QS degree might be full time, perhaps with a ‘year in industry’ but can also be part time with the student working as a trainee / assistant QS for a company and the course taking up a day of their working week.

Certain practicing quantity surveyors may not be qualified as such but are ‘time served’ and have gained their experience in working in the QS field straight from school or college.

QS’s, particularly those working in a professional office, are likely to want to aim to become Chartered Quantity Surveyors and so will look to ensure their further education, degree and experience are recognised and accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) so that they might apply to become chartered.

The Degree Apprenticeship

One option now becoming increasingly popular with aspiring quantity surveyors is the RICS Apprenticeship which combines a role within perhaps a professional office or contractor’s team whilst undertaking an RICS accredited PGDip or Masters degree. The course lasts between 30 months for post graduates and 60 months for undergraduates. After completing the course, the candidate becomes a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Benefits are that the QS earns as they learn, gains real life experience (not just classroom theories) builds up a contacts network and gains RICS status which is recognised worldwide. The course is paid for via the government’s apprenticeship scheme and not by the student.

This route for progression is appealing and beneficial to an aspiring QS, as it gives you the best of both worlds in terms of the combination of study and on the job training.

Traits of a QS

So, what base skills does a good QS require? A keen eye for detail and strong organisational skills are important. It also helps having a level of numeracy and IT skills, in addition to general problem solving and technical ability. As a QS, you will want to have a developing interest and understanding of all aspects of construction.

Look up your local QS practices or larger contractors and ask them if you might be able to meet and chat to a QS in their business about what they do. This might give you a better feel for whether being a QS is of genuine interest to you.

Then look up what courses are available to you and what criteria you need to attain to get on that course. It may well be worthwhile asking local QS practices or contractors if they have a QS apprenticeship scheme and express an interest in going on that scheme with them. Universities themselves may have contact details for employers who place trainees on their courses, so that you know who is actively employing trainees.

Otherwise, you might prefer to have the full ‘university life’ and apply for a degree course in one of the many universities throughout the UK now offering QS courses. Again, do your research, find out what qualifications you need to have in order to get on that course and go for it!

Midlands Office:
Ridgeway House, 1 High Street, Astwood Bank,
Redditch, Worcestershire, B96 6DB

01527 894514


London Office:
12 Melcombe Place, London, NW1 6JJ

020 3367 1379

Ridgeways Surveyors Limited, Registered Office, Ridgeway House, 1 High Street, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire, B96 6DB. Registered in England & Wales. Company No: 9145497