How to become an apprentice quantity surveyor: Josh's story

I work for TfL (Transport for London) as an apprentice Quantity Surveyor where I help manage the financial side of projects, which means negotiating and agreeing contracts with our suppliers, and assisting the commercial manager. My role is about making sure we are being money efficient and saving money for the business.

Every day is different. Each day I have different meetings with contractors. I am based within the office but also get to go on to site to visit engineers and get a better understanding of what we do.

I am passionate about spreading the word about apprenticeships, and ensuring that people know what the benefits are.

At first, I didn’t know what quantity surveying was! I did work experience in Engineering, Architecture and Project Management. I came across the apprenticeship scheme on the TfL website and read about what quantity surveying is and it seemed to include a bit from all the roles that I had looked at in my work experience.

I did Maths and Business Studies at A-level. At work, we use maths every day. We use spreadsheets and work with numbers as we try to be as cost-efficient as we can. Team work and time management are key. Completing your work as soon as possible and to the right standard is crucial, as are skills such as communication and people skills.

I didn’t feel university was right for me after I finished sixth form. The apprenticeship was the best decision I made. It is a step into the working world, but you are still given as much support as you need. Being able to work, learn and earn all at the same time is really efficient for what I want to achieve. I will get a degree with the course I am doing and will already have experience in the workplace.

Josh's career path

What to expect if you want to be a quantity surveyor

  • Salary: Variable ranging from £18,000 to £80,000
  • Working hours: Variable from 35 to 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a quantity surveyor?

  • Entry requirements: Usually an apprenticeship, degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This can be a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course from any degree. You could also start work as a junior or trainee quantity surveyor, a surveying technician or surveying assistant, then study to become a quantity surveyor

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a quantity surveyor.

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