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Last edited 08 Feb 2021
The role of an assistant quantity surveyor often has the same elements as a head quantity surveyor (QS). While not having the title and the corresponding pay rate, these individuals are responsible for many of the same things. This can include estimates, control over project costs, documentation and assessment.
Each aspect of a project falls directly under the watchful eye of this person. It requires a careful planning strategy along with effective management techniques to stay within budget. Currently there are many openings in this field, with most of them requiring experience in some form of construction first.
Most types of QSs are concerned with the actual construction costs and work predominantly towards that end. They can be trained in cost control, employing techniques to keep expenditures on budget, contract management, construction surveying, project management and so on.
QSs can carry a variety of job titles depending on the actual work being performed. Since there are many areas that can be specialised in, the corresponding designation will typically fit in with the duties on site:
- For persons working with an organisation, they may be designated as professional QS or simply PQS.
- When employed by a construction company, the usual moniker is main contractor's QS. Although this looks different, the actual work is pretty much the same.
- If the project calls for dealings with contracts or costs mainly, the designation is professional QS or private practice QS. Cost planning, feasibility studies and analysis are a major part of this job's duties.
For an assistant QS to move up the ladder, they must have the proper educational background. A college degree is often only one of the prerequisites that are needed in order to fill this role. Most graduates interested in starting this occupation are assigned the assistant's title, even if they will be performing all of the duties of the head surveyor. Some background experience in construction is preferred before consideration for promotion. Many companies will consider a potential candidate only if there is a good deal of experience in the construction trade first. The combination of education, experience and field work are often the best way to earn promotion.
Assistant QS jobs are plentiful, with many of these openings being generated in the UK. However, for the person wanting to see the world, international firms continue to hire individuals with the proper credentials. This can mean travel to the Middle East or Asia where there is a lot of construction taking place.
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