In construction and engineering many businesses sink or swim based on their ability to provide a competitive price. A good Quantity Surveyor can be essential to a contractor, making sure their projects are properly budgeted and comply with both industry and legal standards. Their expertise and overall knowledge of each stage of a project makes them one of the most highly respected and sought after professions in the industry with an abundance of job opportunities and rising salaries.
So, where are they all?
A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 2015 showed that 64% of firms reported problems finding Quantity Surveyors. 66% of firms surveyed also reported having to turn down work due to lack of staff to fulfil the needs of a project. There is plenty of demand for Quantity Surveyor roles but nowhere near enough candidates to fill them. Industry experts have reported that the number of applicants for qualifications leading to a Quantity Surveyor role is down while the number of positions to be filled continues to rise with the RICS predicting that the problem will peak in 2020.
The skills shortage is mainly brought about by an industry in recovery from recession. Following the height of the recession in 2008 nearly 400,000 jobs were lost in the construction and engineering sector as the market crashed, forcing many professionals to seek other avenues of employment and companies to reduce the amount of available apprenticeships, providing further barriers to entry for people seeking to become Quantity Surveyors.
Now that the industry is in recovery many more projects require a QS but a large number of the individuals who had to leave the profession aren’t coming back. In some cases they’ve retrained for a different role and are happy where they are and in other cases some have left the country to find work abroad. Still others have retired.
For those at entry level this means there has never been a better time to train as a Quantity Surveyor. The number of roles to be filled practically guarantees steady work while employers are increasing the number of apprenticeships they offer as well as salaries offered to attract more candidates.