When considering a career as a quantity surveyor in the UK, it’s important to be aware of the salary, and also the benefits, that you can earn as you climb the ranks.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide featuring typical quantity surveyor salaries, role responsibilities, qualifications, training and what to expect in terms of benefits and career progression.
Average quantity surveyor salary ranges
The average quantity surveyor job salary in the UK is £52,000, with professionals at the highest end of the scale able to earn £64,000.
For those beginning their careers in the profession, trainees and apprentices can expect to earn a starting salary between £20,000 - £25,000 per annum, depending on experience and the qualifications already gained.
Quantity surveyors, with at least three years of work experience, can earn between £65,000 and £75,000.
Salary expectations can also fluctuate depending on location, with quantity surveyors able to earn higher salaries in London and the South of England. The average quantity surveyor salary in London is £70,000.
Figures are intended as a guide and are based on data from reed.co.uk.
How quantity surveyor salaries compare to other specialisms
Other roles that are similar and directly relate to quantity surveying include building surveyors, project managers, site engineers, construction managers and civil engineers.
The average annual salary range for some of the above roles are:
The average salary range for a building surveyor in the UK is £45,000 - £60,000 per annum.
The average salary range for a project manager in the UK is £50,000 - £60,000 per annum.
The average salary range for a site engineer in the UK is £50,000 - £70,000 per annum.
The average salary range for a business analyst in the UK is £55,000 - £75,000 per annum.
The average salary range for a research scientist in the UK is £35,000 to £51,000 per annum.
Roles and responsibilities
As a quantity surveyor, you'll be expected to prepare estimates and manage costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, keeping track of any changes to the contract that may affect costing, and create reports to show value for money and profit.
Part of this includes outlining the risk of the construction project and making sure it abides with statutory building regulations and quality. Typical day-to-day tasks for a quantity surveyor in the UK include:
Discover the client's needs and assess if the plans are feasible and manageable
Work out quantities and costs of materials, time and labour
Negotiate contracts and manage work schedules
Follow health and safety regulations and adhere to building regulations
Advise on legal matters, most importantly those concerning risks and disputes between tenders
Monitor sub-contractors and the different stages of the construction process
Report on costs and prepare company accounts for payment
The holiday entitlement for a quantity surveyor varies from organisation to organisation. Most employers will offer the standard 5.6 weeks (28 days) of paid holiday in line with statutory leave entitlement, but some companies increase this – with 30+ days’ annual leave given as part of an enhanced benefits package.
The amount of annual leave may rise over time when service requirements are met, and it may be possible to trade additional days under the company’s rewards policy.
Quantity surveyor benefits
Common benefits associated with a quantity surveyor role may include a car allowance due to the travel needed between sites, plus a generous company pension scheme, and private healthcare and life insurance.
Work bonuses are not uncommon in the profession either, if targets are met and the business goes through a profitable period.
Qualifications and training
In order to become a quantity surveyor, there are multiple routes available depending on qualifications and experience.
One of the most popular ways to qualify is to undertake a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course, which is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Relevant degree subjects to become a quantity surveyor include:
Structural or civil engineering
Entry requirements for these degrees usually include two to three A levels or equivalent, while a postgraduate conversion course will need a degree in any relevant subject.
Apprenticeships are also a popular avenue, with a surveying technician (level 3) advanced apprenticeship a first step to becoming a quantity surveyor. Once started, apprentices can opt for further on-the-job training to enhance their skills and knowledge. This comes in the form of a chartered surveyor or construction quantity surveyor degree apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships require a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) – including English and maths for an advanced apprenticeship.
Continued professional development (CPD) is an important aspect of maintaining high working standards in quantity surveyor roles. Throughout the journey to become a quantity surveyor, ongoing training, support and guidance is often given to ensure you can excel on the job.
More often than not, to become a fully qualified chartered surveyor you will need to obtain a RICS membership, which is obtained by successfully completing the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence training programme. This involves a set number of hours of professional development and culminates with an assessment interview.
As a member of RICS, you must also undertake a minimum of 20 hours of CPD annually, which includes a variety of professional courses, private study, attending events and conferences, and in-house training.
Plenty of training providers offer courses for upskilling in quantity surveying. See more on Reed Courses here.
There is a clear progression route for quantity surveyors looking to move up the career ladder. Before a promotion and new job title is given, an increase in salary can often be achieved by gaining further accredited qualifications and taking on additional responsibilities. After a few years of experience, you could become a senior quantity surveyor, allowing you to manage small teams and be responsible for larger-scale projects.
Those looking to enhance their careers further may move into project management positions, as well as roles within supply chain management, commercial management, or self-employment and contracting.
If you want to learn more about the salaries and benefits you could be earning for your role, download our salary guides now.