Quantity Surveyor Kairūri Utu Hanga Whare

Quantity surveyors manage finances for construction projects. They calculate budgets based on clients' requirements, and prepare detailed estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient for each stage of construction.

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Quantity surveyors may apply for New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors membership and work towards professional registration.

Quantity surveyors may do some or all of the following:

  • study architects' and engineers' building plans
  • prepare a schedule of quantities used in the tendering process (measuring and estimating material and labour costs)
  • prepare reports before and during building projects showing costs
  • visit building sites to monitor progress
  • act as an arbitrator in disputes between clients and building contractors
  • offer services in value management (comparing a building's cost to similar buildings).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for quantity surveyors includes:

  • any building industry work such as labouring on construction sites
  • work involving calculations and accounting.

Personal Qualities

Quantity surveyors need to be:

  • good at planning and organising
  • ethical and honest
  • enquiring and able to think creatively
  • able to work well under pressure.


Quantity surveyors need to have:

  • knowledge of building methods and materials
  • the ability to read and interpret building plans
  • skill estimating building, material and labour costs
  • an understanding of relevant legislation, including the New Zealand Building Code, the New Zealand Building Act 2004 and local by-laws
  • maths and basic accounting skills
  • some computer-aided design (CAD) skills.


Quantity surveyors:

  • work regular business hours and are based in offices
  • occasionally travel to visit work sites, where conditions may be dirty and dusty
  • may travel to conferences and seminars.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, maths, accounting, economics, digital technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies. 

Related Courses

Quantity Surveyors can earn around $47K-$97K per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Quantity Surveyor are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Pay for quantity surveyors depends on their location and experience, and the size of the projects they work on.

  • Entry-level quantity surveyors usually earn between $47,000 and $97,000 a year.
  • Experienced quantity surveyors can earn between $100,000 and $153,000.

Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide FY 21/22', 2022.

Quantity surveyors may move into senior roles, strategic management, or start their own consultancy business.

They may specialise in a number of roles, including:

Consultant/Professional Quantity Surveyor
Consultant or professional quantity surveyors work for a client who is commissioning building. They provide financial advice and estimation services for setting up building contracts, and consult with the contract quantity surveyor. They may also be involved in mediation and arbitration between parties about building contracts.
Contract Quantity Surveyor
Contract quantity surveyors work for a building company, and estimate a building's construction costs, manage the building contracts and monitor construction progress. They are often based on-site, and look after sub-contractors and work with the consultant or professional quantity surveyor throughout the project.
Sub-Contractor Quantity Surveyor
Sub-contractor quantity surveyors do the same work as contract quantity surveyors, but on a smaller scale. They only work with one trade (for example, timber, aluminium or window companies), rather than contract quantity surveyors who co-ordinate with all the trades.

Years Of Training

2-3 years of training usually required.

To become a quantity surveyor you need one of:

  • a New Zealand Diploma in Quantity Surveying
  • a Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics or Quantity Surveying) – offered at Massey University and Unitec. This qualification will make it easier to move into management.
Quantity Surveyor