The UK is grappling with a housing crisis. The swelling population is outstripping the amount of housing available. Despite common grumblings about mass urbanisation, the BBC reported that as of 2012, just 2.27% of England’s land had been “built on”. What does this mean for the building industry? A lot of work to be done and a lot of money to be made. The building industry is one of the biggest employers in Britain. A crucial cog in this machine is the Quantity Surveyor.
Quantity Surveyors are responsible for calculating the budget and costs of a building project. The role combines the two big divisions in the industry – managerial work and technical work – into one highly skilled position. It’s a highly responsible job and the salary reflects that, but employers are struggling to fill the demand. Despite its early forms dating back to the Great Fire of London, Quantity Surveying is relatively new discipline in academia in contrast to something like Civil Engineering. As a result, employers are facing a skills shortage as the number of graduates is not meeting the number of Quantity Surveyors needed.
Building is a trade that most people enter into straight from school or college, it’s a profession for people focused on work over study. It seems logical then that there would be bountiful opportunities for builders interested in Quantity Surveying to gain their qualification while they work but this is not the case. Higher National Diplomas and diplomas of any sort in Quantity Surveyor courses are rare in Britain, particularly courses which can be done online. The College of Contract Management’s Advanced Diploma in Quantity Surveying course is one of the first of its kind, making it a stand-out qualification on a CV.
The Future of Quantity Surveying
While the demand for Quantity Surveyors remains high (and growing), the industry is changing.
Recently, in a predominantly male-dominated profession, the number of female Quantity Surveyors has been on the rise. Thanks to modern movements and Quantity Surveying’s shift into being a primarily office-based role, the profession has seen a huge rise in its female members. Women now make up 13% of professionals and 27% of students in training, with those numbers ever increasing. Women make up approximately 20% of the College’s students on courses that exclusively come under such traditionally male-favoured subjects as Engineering, Business and Construction.
Predictably, as technology evolves, so is Quantity Surveying. According to a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, a software called ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) is making the process of calculating costs and budgets more efficient by using computerised 3D models instead of 2D paper drawings. The software allows everyone involved in the project to interact and add data to the 3D model. This method of sharing a model allows all those involved in the project to collaborate seamlessly and avoid problems that may arise from miscommunication.
Chartered Institutes for Quantity Surveyors
In addition to supplying Quantity Surveyor courses, the College is a great introduction to Chartered Institutes. Becoming a member of a Chartered Institute is an official recognition of your skillset and demonstrates your commitment to Quantity Surveying. It opens your opportunities to network in your field, develop your skills and earn a significantly higher salary.
The CIOB is the oldest Chartered Institute in practice, having begun in 1834 shortly before its first big project, the Houses of Parliament. Members of the Chartered Institute of Building have overseen the construction of famous British structures from Nelson’s Column to Tower Bridge to the Millennium Dome. Among its famous Members, it has counted Prince Philip, Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Ove Arup, who engineered the Sydney Opera House.
With over 45,000 members, the CIOB is a multi-million-pound organisation and being part of it is a high accolade indeed.
Founded in London in 1868, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has grown to hold offices on every habitable continent on Earth. They pride themselves on being “forward-facing”, embracing new technology and making the best of it for the benefit of their members and their trade.
A younger institution at 50 years old, the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineers Surveyors made revolutionary changes to surveying that stand to this day. Its members can take part in and benefit from its mission to raise the standards of education and practise in the industry.
The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors is the leading Chartered Institute for Australasia. They work to maintain high standards of education and training for their members.
Demand for Quantity Surveyors is at its highest level since the recession. Not just high, but a national crisis high. There are more potential building projects in the pipelines than there are Quantity Surveyors to handle the costs for them. While this is bad news for employers trying to find the skills they need, it’s wonderful news for those looking to begin a lucrative career.
Unlike some professions, Quantity Surveyors earn more money as they get older and more experienced. A newly qualified Quantity Surveyor can expect a starting salary of £23,000, which will have doubled after 20 years of experience. The average salary then sits around £34,000. However, experience isn’t the only wage boosting factor. Some may choose to gain more qualifications and work their way from Junior through to Senior roles. For climbers such as these, there are jobs advertised for experienced Senior Quantity Surveyors for multi-million-pound projects that offer in excess of £80,000 a year. Many Quantity Surveyors also opt to take advantage of the national shortage by working as freelancers.
The Benefits of Online Learning
Online learning divides opinion. Some find it a practical and enjoyable way to boost their career while some find it lonely and unsupportive. Ultimately, it all comes down to the individual. For teenagers fresh from A-Levels and itching for the social funfair that is university then that is the right choice. But for those who prioritise work overstudy, are further along in their careers or have responsibilities such as children to manage, online learning offers a solution. Here are just some of the benefits of studying a Quantity Surveyor course online:
It’s not a full-time commitment.
A large majority of people considering enrolling onto Quantity Surveyor courses are already working in industry. The idea of taking three years away from work is not an attractive or financially practical one. Studying online allows these people to keep their career on an upward trajectory without making sacrifices.
You don’t need to fork out for accommodation.
Student halls certainly aren’t for everyone, especially those who work full-time so need a good night’s sleep. Studying online allows students to work in the peace and quiet of their own home and omits the high costs of living in a city central location.
You don’t need to fork out for university fees either.
Online course providers don’t need to pay anything like the level of maintenance, utilities, or staff costs that universities do, so can therefore provide their course for significantly lower prices.
You don’t need to travel.
Travelling to lectures can be time-consuming and expensive, and that’s before you counter in traffic jams and delayed trains. Online study allows students to learn from the comfort of their own homes.
Additionally, studying online allows international students for whom getting a UK diploma would otherwise be impossible. Tier 4 Student Visas restrict the number of hours an overseas student can work while they’re in the UK. Therefore international students have to provide evidence that they will be able to financially support themselves for the full three years. Unfortunately, this excludes a large majority of students who simply cannot afford not to work. Online distance learning provides a solution.
The main downside of studying online is that it lacks the social element that university excels in. This social side is obviously great fun but also beneficial to learning. While we don’t have any societies or an SU, the College has found an innovative way to bring the social side of the classroom to online learning. We do this by holding all our online lectures live. So, students can talk to the lecture and each other, ask questions, discuss and debate. Students can add each other as friends on the virtual study platform and message each other. Each lecture is recorded so that students can catch-up or re-watch them at a time that suits them. Subsequently, with our live online quantity surveyor courses students can gain the benefits of a real classroom from the comfort of their own homes while saving time and money.
In conclusion, the live online Advanced Diploma in Quantity Surveying course is a superb entry onto a lucrative career path where your skills will always be in high demand. Our modern live online lectures fit with the changing face of Quantity Surveying and allow an accessible qualification for ambitious people all over the world.