Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

Occupation Outlook | Main MBIE Site

Quantity Surveyors

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Income
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Fees
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Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

Prospects are good for quantity surveyors in many parts of New Zealand. Opportunities for quantity surveyors are good due to a strong residential building sector, and a stable commercial (non-residential) building sector.

How to become a quantity surveyor

What they do

Quantity surveyors manage construction project finances. They calculate a budget based on their client's requirements, and prepare detailed estimates to ensure the budget is sufficient for each stage of construction as the project develops.

Skills employers look for

According to the latest information from the New Zealand and Australian online job ads, some of the top skills employers look for include:

  • a variety of specialised skills, including estimating, contract administration, project management, contract preparation, cost control and budgeting.
  • good communication and planning skills
  • computer literacy skills, including Microsoft Office and Excel.

Source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool

Qualifications needed

To become a quantity surveyor you need to have a New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Quantity Surveying) or a Bachelor of Construction (Construction Economics or Quantity Surveying).

Although both qualifications allow graduates to take on entry-level roles, those with a Bachelor of Construction learn additional management skills.

Many students study part-time while working in the industry, especially during the final year of study. This means that students can earn money while they study, and their employer will sometimes pay for the studies. This also gives students valuable experience.

Cost of study

Bachelor of ConstructionNew Zealand Diploma in Construction (Quantity Surveying)
$23,800 over three years $13,300 over two years

Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for  fees-free tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to feesfree.govt.nz. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.

A Bachelor of Construction costs around $23,800 and takes three years to complete.

Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services: www.tenancy.govt.nz/rent-bond-and-bills
StudyLink: www.studylink.govt.nz
Sorted: www.sorted.org.nz/calculators/money-planner

Where to study

Bachelor of Construction degrees are accredited by the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors. This degree can be completed in Auckland, Canterbury, Dunedin, and usually it takes three years of full time study. The two-year New Zealand Diploma in Construction (Quantity Surveying) is offered by many polytechnics. The Open Polytechnic also offers distance learning for the  Diploma.

Registration

Students and graduates can become members of the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS). With experience you can gain higher levels of membership, including becoming a Registered Quantity Surveyor.

NZIQS: information on becoming a member of NZIQS: www.nziqs.co.nz/Membership

Completed qualifications

The number of students completing quantity surveying qualifications has steadily increased to about 320 in 2017.

Qualification completions chart

Source: Ministry of Education

Data is for the wider category “Building Construction Economics (including Quantity Surveying)”.

Income and employment prospects

Income

In 2017, the average income for quantity surveyors was estimated to be $86,000.

Estimated Average Income
$86,000

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index

Pay for a quantity surveyor varies with their experience and level of responsibility. New quantity surveyors earn $40,000 to $55,000 a year. Fully qualified quantity surveyors, with some experience, usually earn about $75,000 to $150,000 a year. Some quantity surveyors own a practice and their income depends on the profitability of their practice.

Employment and skill shortages

Quantity surveyors’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2021 2026
1,434 2,019 2,517 2,932
  5.0% 3.7% 3.1%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Engineering Professionals”.

There has been a significant rise in the number of quantity surveyors in recent years. Employment is forecast to grow 3.7% per year out to 2021 and then 3.1% per year to 2026. This should mean there are good opportunities for new quantity surveyors to enter the profession.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Outcomes after qualification completion*

OverseasIn further studyReceiving a benefitIn employmentMedian Salary
13% 0% 0% 79% $52,000

Source: Tertiary Education Commission *Three years after completion of L5 or 6 Certificate – Building.

Three years after completing a Level 5 or 6 Certificate in Building, 79% of graduates were employed and 13% were overseas. The median annual salary at that point was around $52,000.

Quantity surveyors appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list, indicating the government is actively encouraging skilled workers in those occupations to work in New Zealand. A full list is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz

Where to find job vacancies

Vacancies in the broader category ‘Civil Engineering Professionals’ grew in the period from 2010 to 2014, but  eased slightly in the last year. It still should be easier to find a job in this category now than it was a few years ago.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Quantity surveyor vacancies are advertised through NZIQS as well as job websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek. Employment can also be found through recruitment companies that specialise in construction.

Trade Me Jobs: www.trademe.co.nz/jobs 
Seek: www.seek.co.nz 
NZIQS, vacancies: www.nziqs.co.nz/Become-a-QS/Vacancies

Career path

The main employers of quantity surveyors are construction companies, consultant firms and sub-contractors. The building and construction industry is expected to continue to grow throughout the country.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry level quantity surveyors.

  • Building Economist
  • Building Surveyor
  • Construction Economist
  • Contract Manager
  • Cost Engineer
  • Estimator
  • Quantity Estimator
  • Commercial Manager

Other information

Links

More information on quantity surveyors is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz

ANZSCO

The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of quantity surveyors has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:

233213 – Quantity Surveyor