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Quantity surveying vs construction estimating: What is the difference?

Quantity surveying vs construction estimating are two closely related professions, but there are some key differences between the two.

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Quantity Surveying

Quantity surveying is a broader profession that encompasses all aspects of cost management in the construction industry. Quantity surveyors are responsible for preparing bills of quantities (BOQs), construction takeoffs, calculating cost estimates, monitoring and controlling project costs, and advising clients on cost-effective construction methods and materials. They may also be involved in preparing contract documents and managing disputes and claims.

Construction Estimating

Construction estimating is a more specialised profession that focuses on calculating the cost of materials, labour, and other resources required for a construction project. Estimators typically work closely with engineers and architects to develop accurate cost estimates. They may also be involved in preparing proposals and bidding on projects.

In summary, quantity surveyors are responsible for the overall cost management of a construction project, while estimators focus on calculating the cost of individual project components.

Quantity Surveying vs Construction Estimating Summary of Differences

Here is a table that summarises the key differences between quantity surveying and construction estimating:

CharacteristicQuantity surveyingConstruction estimating
Scope of workBroad, encompassing all aspects of cost managementSpecialised, focusing on cost estimation
Typical responsibilitiesPrepare BoQs, construction takeoffs, calculate cost estimates, monitor and control project costs, advise clients on cost-effective construction methods and materials, prepare contract documents, manage disputes and claimsCalculate the cost of materials, labor, and other resources required for a construction project, develop accurate cost estimates, prepare proposals and bid on projects
QualificationsTypically require a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying or a related fieldTypically require a bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field, or extensive experience in construction estimating

It is important to note that the distinction between quantity surveying and construction estimating is not always clear-cut. In some cases, quantity surveyors may also perform estimating work, and vice versa. However, the table above provides a general overview of the key differences between the two professions.

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Contact Warren Fryer - TASKT Managing Director. Construction Estimating & Quantity Surveying.
Warren Fryer

Warren's tenure in the Australian Army has imbued him with a sense of discipline, leadership, and teamwork. These traits are integral to managing large construction projects, ensuring that they run efficiently, on schedule, and to the highest standards.

With Warren at the helm, clients are assured of leadership that's recognised and respected in the industry. His credentials as a licensed builder, combined with his vast experience, offer credibility that's hard to match.