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, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch. 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.

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)
$22,300 over three years $12,600 over two years

Average costs in 2015 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.

A Bachelor of Construction costs around $22,300 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 Aukland, Dunedin or Canterbury, and usually takes three years of full time study. The two-year National Diploma in Quantity Surveying is offered by many polytechnics. The Open Polytechnic also offers distance learning for the National Diploma. Some students combine working in the construction industry with study.

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 increased until 2013, but has dipped somewhat since then.

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 2016, the average income for quantity surveyors was estimated to be $83,000.

Estimated Average Income
$83,000

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 2020 2025
1,434 2,019 2,706 3,212
  5.0% 4.3% 3.5%

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 4.3% per year out to 2020, and then 3.5% per year to 2025. 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
19% 32% S 65% $40,600

Source: Ministry of Education. “S” means that data is supressed because of low numbers.
*Two years after completion of L5 or 6 Diploma - Building. ‘Overseas’ refers to the percentage of ALL graduates completing this qualification. Other indicators refer only to graduates living in New Zealand.

Most graduates with a diploma in building are in employment after two years. A large percentage of graduates are in further study, while some are overseas. Very few are receiving a benefit. The median salary was around $40,600.

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 2015, but declined 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, particularly in Auckland and Christchurch.

Some quantity surveyors go on to become managers of commercial property or project managers.

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.

  • Accountant
  • Architect
  • Building Economist
  • Building Surveyor
  • Construction Economist
  • Contract Manager
  • Cost Engineer
  • Estimator
  • Quantity Estimator

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