For youngsters keen on the mining industry, there is always the worry that they may spend years studying and still not be able to break into the mining industry. If mining is your passion and an industry you want to become involved in, then why not consider becoming a Quantity Surveyor?
According to a report from BIS Shrapnel, Quantity Surveyors in Australia are in huge demand, as there is currently a severe shortage in the industry. The report was commissioned by Consulting Surveyors National and reports a concerning shortage in Quantity Surveyors and Geospatial professionals. It went on to say that if this shortage is not addressed, it could affect the resources industry extremely negatively.
The report also stated that by 2016 Australia will need 8948 Surveyors, and by 2019, 9501 Surveyors will be needed. This could potentially open up around about 1500 job openings.
There is also talk that New Zealand is in a similar position, and that Quantity Surveyors are on New Zealand’s long term skills shortage list. South Africa has also battled with a shortage of Quantity Surveyors over the years as have many other regions worldwide, including the United Kingdom. This shortage of skills has also resulted in a sharp increase in the salaries that Quantity Surveyors can expect to earn. There are reports that salaries for both graduate and experienced Quantity Surveyors in Australia have risen as much as 33% for graduates and 44% for experienced Quantity Surveyors over a 3 year period.
So what does a Quantity Surveyor actually do?
A Quantity Surveyor manages all the costs relating to projects, this will be from the initial calculations to the final figures. From the moment a plan is drawn, until the project has been completed, a Quantity Surveyor is likely to be involved in all aspects from legal, technical to the financial capacity. A Quantity Surveyor will help to find ways to effectively minimise the costs of a project, whilst at the same time ensuring that the right standards and quality are achieved. Through the duration of a project, it will be up to the Quantity Surveyor to keep track of any variations to the project that may affect costs. They will basically be involved in the preparation of the schedules of quantities of materials, labour and services required. They will also advise as and when necessary, on cost management. When you take into account that for many projects in mining, there are millions of dollars invested and at stake, a Quantity Survey will play a vital role in the process. A Quantity Surveyor will typically also be involved in risk management, commercial and contract management, and assisting in dispute resolution.
In order to become a Quantity Surveyor you will have to be highly numerate, and have very good communication skills. You will generally have to undertake a higher education qualification, which would then be followed by period of training within an organisation. Degrees are available in Quantity Surveying. Graduates from other degree subjects can also generally take a postgraduate conversion course.
This gap in the market may also open doors for Quantity Surveyors from other regions wanting to get a foot in the doorway in Australia, as if they cannot find the skills locally, many companies will look abroad to fill these key roles.
With this gap in the market, now is a great time to get involved in a professional career where the opportunities for travel and work are abundant, and are likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Young Quantity Surveyors have the world at their feet…