Top 15 Quantity Surveyor Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

By | July 18, 2023
Quantity Surveyor Skills
You can boost your effectiveness on your job as a quantity surveyor by developing certain skills and qualities.

This post presents valuable quantity surveyor skills and qualities you need to have to improve your performance on the job and excel in your career.

Please, read on:

We all live in houses and other structures that serve as a place of rest, place of business and other functions a building is meant to have, meaning that buildings are important for almost every purpose on earth.

Erecting a building is a task of its own that requires professionalism to avoid collapse and other tragedies.

This requires that proper estimation is made about the quantity and cost of the materials needed to erect a building.

Who is a Quantity Surveyor?

A quantity surveyor is one involved in a building project with the duty of making estimations or projections of the quantity and cost of the materials needed to erect a complete building.

Top 15 Quantity Surveyor Skills to Stay Top of Your Career

Here are important skills and qualities you need to have to be more effective on your job as a quantity surveyor and succeed in your career:

  1. Creative thinking
  2. Creativity
  3. Strong numerical skills
  4. Knowledge of building technology
  5. Negotiation
  6. Teamwork
  7. Motivation
  8. Report writing
  9. Team management
  10. Knowledge of design packages
  11. Strategic planning skills
  12. Project management skills
  13. Time management
  14. Abreast with latest technologies
  15. Problem solving skills.
  1. Creative thinking

Thinking is one thing, but critical thinking is another.

Both are necessary for carrying out the quantity surveyor job description, but creative thinking is more important.

From the definition of the word “quantity surveyor”, you will be able to see why creative thinking is good for this job.

When consulted to put down an estimation of what it will take to complete a building project, you have to think hard, putting every factor into consideration to make sure that your estimates are near perfect.

This means that you should be able to think, calculate, and have a clear picture of what you are asked to do.

Through thinking, you create the image of the project in your mind and imagine what it will take to complete it.

  1. Creativity

In every field of life, creativity is highly regarded to be a cornerstone of success.

This is because the more creative one becomes, the more they develop the capacity and capability to handle responsibilities and produce good results.

In carrying out your job, either in the office or in the site where you might be spending a lot of time due to the nature of your job, you should add creativity to what you are doing to make it fun.

You have to apply more knowledge to the project.

This is important for you because clients are thrilled with new and exciting ideas.

They wish to have something different from what is obtainable and you affording them that pleasure can only endear you to them.

You have to think beyond and above what everyone else can do.

  1. Strong numerical skills

Playing around with numbers is one of the things that are obtainable in the job of a quantity surveyor.

Estimating what quantity of materials that can be used in a project and the cost of it ordinarily exposes you to the reality of the importance of strong numerical skills.

This invariably demands good mathematical skills for you to deal with.

It is important to know that it is a dent on your career if you are constantly getting your estimations and numerical projections wrong.

It means that you don’t know your basic mathematics.

When doing your estimation and projection of financial figures, be careful to analyze what you want to project and do your basic mathematics on them before proceeding to producing your projections.

  1. Knowledge of building technology

There are different branches of building technologies and quantity survey is one of them.

It is a branch of building technology that deals with the quantity of building materials needed in a project and what it will cost to finish it.

So, this basically means that as a quantity surveyor, knowledge of building technology should be one of the basic knowledge you should have.

You should have the basic knowledge of how building technology works.

It is through this knowledge that you can really make estimations of what it will take to complete a building project.

The more technologies you know will increase your chances of being near perfection with your estimations.

  1. Negotiation

Whatever we do in the form of the career we have chosen is geared towards making some good money while creating value for ourselves and the industry we are in.

It is through our careers that we make ends meet in our personal lives.

However, regardless of the job you do, especially jobs that are on contract basis, negotiation is key in getting the best deals you desire.

People want value for money and that makes it difficult for them to fall victims to people who are not well skilled in their jobs.

One thing that can help your course in negotiation is your level of expertise.

You can agree with me that people tend to pay more when the expertise is high as opposed to what they are willing to pay when the expertise is average.

So, improving more in your job is a sure way of strengthening your negotiation ability.

  1. Teamwork

The work of a quantity surveyor is majorly at the site where he/she monitors and ensures that other laborers or workers work with the estimations made and do not go outside the budget.

This is important as any form of negligence can result to the failure of the project.

This means that you are not working alone on the project. You have people you work with who are the laborers in one aspect of the building project or the other.

So you have to ensure that there is an existing smooth relationship between you and them.

Building a team and maintaining that team should be one of the goals you should set for yourself in this job.

If you relate well with them, then you will be able to carry out your job without much stress or difficult.

This is because they all understand the nature of the job and work with each other to make it happen.

  1. Motivation

For a quantity surveyor, he/she needs motivation to stay top of his/her job.

In other words, you should be excited and enthusiastic about the job you landed and that should make you want to give it your best.

When you are motivated in your job, you tend to go beyond the inconveniences of the job and give your best to it.

You shouldn’t allow the stress and huddles of the job becloud your motivation.

You should always find a way to be excited about your quantity surveyor job.

As you keep your motivation going, keep the motivation of the team intact also.

Don’t allow your fellow employees or laborers come to the point of getting irritated by the job.

This could result to them not giving in their best to the job.

  1. Report writing

Working as a quantity surveyor demands that you constantly produce report of the progress of your job.

Building projects will definitely need some form of supervision to ensure that the original plan and estimations are still in place.

You made the estimations or projections and should have first-hand information of how the project is going.

You should state what your observations are and draw your conclusions and make recommendations too to help keep the project in check.

This report is not just for your personal consumption.

When you write reports, you and the owner of the project will need to go through them again to know if there are adjustments that need to be made.

Sometimes the estimations might slightly not be correct but it is through report writing that this can be corrected.

  1. Team management

When you are working in a site as a quantity surveyor, understand that you are not working alone.

There are some other individuals there you need to work with. These may include the bricklayers, architects, and other professionals.

You have to find a way to make them work as a team and ensure that the project is delivered with utmost excellence and at the stipulated time.

This requires team management skills; you have to create the atmosphere of teamwork in there.

Managing your team is one way you can do an excellent job as a quantity surveyor.

You monitor the team and make corrections where necessary and at the same time ensure that the team sticks together and have the same ideology towards the job.

  1. Knowledge of design packages

The advent of recent technologies in the building industry has made building so easy that within weeks or months, a gigantic building can be put in place.

That is the beauty that technology has brought to the building industry.

As such, knowledge of some software packages that can help design and keep track of work progress becomes very important.

Ordinarily, you can’t enjoy the technology you don’t know how to use.

That is why you must actively learn some of them to stay updated in your quantity survey career.

An example of the software application you need to learn about is the Computer Aided Design (AUTOCAD).

This software was designed for engineers and people involved in building technology to help them make complex and complicated designs with good accuracy.

With this software tool, you can make accurate prediction of what a building project can look like.

  1. Strategic planning skills

Strategic planning is not necessarily only for those in the business world.

It is not just for some job descriptions.

It is all encompassing and a necessary skill to possess by anyone regardless of their job or industry.

As you take your time to monitor what is going on in the site, you should be able to produce a working plan that should guide the execution of your job and that of others under you.

Don’t work without a plan, else you will make a mess of someone’s building project.

This plan should be strategic in the sense that it should be sectionalized and prioritized by you.

This plan should depict the stages of the building project and the stages the building should pass through from scratch to finish.

The essence of this plan is to help you keep to what is expected of you.

  1. Project management skills

A building is a project and must be treated with the best project management skills.

A good quantity surveyor should have good project management skills; else they will make a mess of someone’s project.

As an important project, one thing that you should do is to handle the project with utmost carefulness while keeping the timeframe in check to ensure that nothing goes wrong in the course of executing it.

Also, a part of project management is to ensure that you stick to the proposed budget.

Nothing is as frustrating for a project owner than having to spend more money on a project due to wastage and lack of project management skills.

  1. Time management

Every project comes with a timeframe in which it is expected that the project should be ready.

Time is a key factor in every project.

In fact, some contracts are awarded to people who are more likely to complete projects within the shortest possible time.

Time management requires that you stick to your plan and do exactly what is expected of you when you find yourself in the site.

This entails making judicious use of the time given to you to make the most out of the project.

Avoid distractions and activities that have nothing to do with the project.

Understand that your ability to complete projects in record time can help in your bid to win projects.

This is because, a prospective client will be excited to know that you can complete their project within a record time and that might be the difference between you and other competitors.

  1. Abreast with latest technologies

This may look like a repeated point but that’s not the case. In a similar point, we looked at having the knowledge of software applications that are good for the quantity surveyor job.

But here, we are looking into the possibility of incorporating the latest technologies in your job.

Some technologies have being around over the last decades.

Though they are still in use today, however, their limitations are glaring leading to development of more efficient technologies to help make building technology easier and fun to undertake.

So, you will do yourself a lot of good if you take your time and gain the knowledge of some of these relevant technologies.

It will help you stay relevant and competitive in the quantity surveyor job.

Remember you have competitors and it is a battle of knowledge to be successful in your quantity surveyor career.

  1. Problem solving skills

Working in the building site exposes you to several things. Some of those happenings can be normal, fairly abnormal, or bizarrely abnormal.

It is one of the things you should expect working as a quantity surveyor.

You don’t have to assume that things will always work out the way you desire them.

This means that you should be ready and well placed to take on any challenge that confronts you and your team in the course of executing your job.

This is a necessity and not what you should dread. Challenges abound but dealing with the challenges should be your business.

Understand that problem solving starts with your ability to analyze how the project is moving and what exactly is the root of the challenges you are facing.

This will give you the hint on what to do to overcome the challenges you are facing at the site.

Quantity Surveyor Skills for Resume

If you are making a resume or CV for the quantity surveyor job, you need to include the Skills section in it.

You can apply the quantity surveyor skills and qualities highlighted above in making your resume/CV’s Skills section if you have them.

This will greatly boost your chances of being hired for the quantity surveyor position by the recruiter/employer because you have shown that you possess the right skills and qualities to be effective working as a quantity surveyor in their company.


A quantity surveyor is definitely responsible for making estimates or projections of the quantity of materials needed to complete a building project and probably the cost of those materials.

However, landing this job is one thing and being successful in your career is another.

This article has provided major skills and qualities you need to develop to stay top your job and career as a quantity surveyor.