Who are Quantity Surveyors?

The terms measurement and estimation might not be new for us. We learn those terms in school, especially in the subject, Mathematics. We learn how to measure the quantity and weight of a thing, and in turn estimate the value of the thing.

However, there is a professional title that we might not be familiar with, which is called “Sr”, and that is Quantity Surveyor. Quantity Surveyor is actually a century-old profession that originated in the UK, and is currently an indispensable profession in the construction industry in the world. Quantity Surveyors not only estimate materials required in the construction project, they also estimate construction cost, as well as prepare and manage tender and contract documents. To put it simply, a Quantity Surveyor is an accountant in the construction industry.

If we look at it from a historical perspective, they may appear under different names, but we can affirm the importance and undeniable existence of this profession. From the construction of the ancient Egyptian pyramids, the temples by King Solomon, the Great Wall by Emperor Qing Shi Huang, to the series of historical sites left by the British Empire; each construction projects do require estimation in ensuring that the entire project can be completed within the specified time and budget, at the same time meet the quality requirements.

Today, Quantity Surveyors prepare preliminary cost estimates and estimate risk based on the blueprint of the architect and engineer. Then they will have to modify the cost plan according to the changes of the design blueprint to ensure that the construction cost does not exceed the budget. After that, they will prepare a Tender Document and Bill of Quantities (BQ), and gradually list the building materials and project timelines. From these, the bidder who offers the most reasonable price can become the contractor and be responsible for that construction project. In addition, Quantity Surveyor will then prepare Contract Document based on the bid documents.

When the construction project starts, Quantity Surveyors’ duties do not end there. They have to visit the construction site every month to follow up the construction progress and expenditure of the project to ensure that the cost of the project does not deviate from the budget. From the early stage to the end of the project, Quantity Surveyor plays a pivotal role in a construction project. In addition to calculating building materials and construction costs, they also need to deal with a lot of money-related matters.

As a developing nation, Malaysia has realized the pivotal role of the construction sector not only in economic growth but also in improving the quality of life and living standards of Malaysian people. Over the last two decades it has been contributing between 3 to 5 percent of the aggregate economy GDP.

Hence, the construction industry will continue to play an important role in shaping the economy of Malaysia. Quantity Surveyor is not only involved in construction projects, but also involved in public works and infrastructure, such as railways, roads, bridges, airports, dams, and even heavy industries such as oil and gas industries. There is a great demand for Quantity Surveyors in the market.

For secondary school leavers who are interested to explore more about this profession, you are welcome to call Kolej Laila Taib at 084-311888 or WhatsApp to 016-380 9818, we are ready to shape your future. Scholarships and loans are also available.

QS students from KLT visited the Country Garden Forest City located within the Iskandar Region (photo taken before the pandemic)