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Occupation Details

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Quantity Surveyor (QS)

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€35k > 85
Quantity Surveyor
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 85
Related Information:
Senior Quantity Surveyor 65,000 - 85,000
Intermediate Quantity Surveyor 45,000 - 55,000
Junior Quantity Surveyor 35,000 - 40,000

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: January, 2019

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Although the number of quantity surveyors is too small to report, employers have indicated that they are experiencing difficulty in sourcing these skills. Demand is likely to be limited in volume due to the small size of this occupation.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Architects, Town Planners, Architectural Technologists & Surveyors

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 4%
Non-Nationals: 19%
With Third Level: 89%
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At a Glance... header image

Calculates the cost of building projects, taking into account labour, materials, taxes and maintenance costs.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Eileen Faherty
Electrician / Quantity Surveyor

Eileen Faherty is a Quantity Surveyor with Jones Engineering Group. Eilleen completed a four year electrician appreticeship and further obtained a Btech in Construction Technology from DIT. Her work involves preparing variations for construction projects along with labour spends reports and project cost projections.

Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Chartered Quantity Surveyor - from: YouTube [Video]
Go..Trainee Quantity Surveyor - from: iCould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Quantity surveyors and construction economists, sometimes known as construction cost consultants, work for either the client or contractor and can be based in an office or on site.

Their role is to manage all costs relating to construction projects from initial design calculations to the final account, seeking to minimise costs and enhance value for money, while achieving the required standards and quality.

Typical tasks for a quantity surveyor or construction economist include:

  • Researching and preparing construction budgets for a range of construction and construction related projects
  • Planning the costs of each phase of the project to ensure value formoney and also sustainability in terms of the overall project
  • Advising both contractors and state agencies on costing related matters for various construction projects
  • Advising on choosing contractors and procurement processes
  • Administering the costs during the project for both contractor and other related parties, such as the client
  • Negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Taxation and funding advice

All aspects of the project need to be correctly costed and financially sustainable. If the costings are too restrictive, the project’s overall quality could suffer, if they are too generous, funds could be exhausted before the project is completed, so it’s a question of balance and being realistic about what can be achieved by analysing the timeframe in which it is expected that the project be completed and the available funding for the project.

The quantity surveyor controls the cost by accurate measurement of work combined with their expert knowledge of prices for work, labour, materials and plant required.  
Private practice and central and local government quantity surveyors are usually office based and work from a fixed location. They use architect's plans to make an initial estimate of the cost of a project. They then produce a more detailed breakdown of costs and quantities known as the Bill of Quantities. They send this to building contractors so they can work out their bids for the project. Finally, they assess the bids they receive so they and their clients can decide who to give the project to.  
Local and central government quantity surveyors also control expenditure on ongoing programmes, making the best use of budgets and balancing maintenance against new construction work. They must make sure that all design decisions are made at the start of the project to ensure good value is obtained for money spent. There are 2 kinds of quantity surveyor - one who carrys out work on behalf of an organisation and one who works for a construction company.  
Commercial quantity surveyors are employed by building and civil engineering contractors. They prepare bids for construction work, and make sure that work is completed on time and to the required standard and that the contractor makes a profit. They assess the effect of any changes to the project or disruption in work and discuss it with the client's quantity surveyor.  
Commercial quantity surveyors are usually based on construction sites and may need to move around the country for projects.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.


Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.


Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.


Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.


Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.


Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.


Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.


Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.


Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.


Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information: Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.


Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Management of Financial Resources: Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Although computers are used for complex calculations, you will need a high standard of numeracy. Deskwork includes report writing, which requires a clear, concise style.  
Quantity surveyors need to be able to interpret technical drawings and architects' plans. They also need negotiating skills and initiative to make their own decisions. They must have good communication skills and be able to work as part of a team.  
They need a wide knowledge of construction law, health and safety issues, building methods and time scales, and the costs of materials.

Entry Routesheader image

To gain a professional recognition as a surveyor in Ireland you first need to complete a degree accredited by the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Those with degree from other disciplines can still become a surveyor by taking an accredited property degree or postgraduate conversion course. 

Many colleges and universities throughout the country offer courses in surveying. A full list of accredited degrees is available on the SCSI website.

Candidates are advised to check individual institutions for course details.

The next step is to undertake a period of training in employment and complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). This is a structured practical training programme, which takes about two years to complete in the workplace, so you will need to be prepared to combine work and study.

The training structure is based on a set of skills known as ‘competences’, which are a mix of technical and professional practice skills along with interpersonal, financial, business and management skills.

Upon successful completion of the APC, you apply to become a member of the SCSI and the RICS.

Status as a chartered surveyor will accelerate career progression and support self-employment in private practice. As this is a globally recognised professional qualification, it will also be recognised if you wish to work overseas.

Last Updated: August, 2016

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Quantity Surveyor - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Quantity surveyor - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Society of Chartered Surveyors
Address: 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 5500
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Industry Expert

Apprenticeship Information

Advanced Quantity Surveyor

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property

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