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Quantity surveying booming as a popular career choice

Quantity surveying booming as a popular career choice

Around the country quantity surveying is fast becoming a popular study option and career choice.

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) Associate Head of School Engineering Malcolm Fair, says there’s been a dramatic increase in student numbers studying quantity surveying.

“There’s probably been around an 80 percent increase.”

Increasing awareness of what a quantity surveyor does has boosted student numbers, says Malcolm.

“The Christchurch earthquake was a catalyst for this. The earthquake generated a lot of work, particularly construction in Christchurch, but also earthquake strengthening work around the country.”

WelTec’s Diploma in Construction with strands in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying runs for two years when studied full time. There are part-time options available.

“By the second year, around half of our students are working in construction as junior quantity surveyors. A lot of students have jobs before they finish the course,” says Malcolm.

Female students are also excelling in what has traditionally been a male dominated space.

“Numbers are still not even, but the number of females studying quantity surveying has progressed well compared to other building technology courses. We have some fantastic female quantity surveyors out there who are role models for people considering quantity surveying as a career.”

Principal academic staff member at the Ara Institute of Canterbury, Keith Power, says despite the huge increase in students studying quantity surveying, there’s still a shortage of quantity surveyors.

All surveyed graduates of the programme who studied quantity surveying at the Ara Institute in 2016 were employed within the industry, reports Keith.

Like WelTec students, most students from the Ara Institute are working before they finish the course, and junior quantity surveyors aren’t complaining about the pay either, says Keith.

“It’s a very practical course, there are work integrated components. If students aren’t working in second year, then we arrange work experience for them.”

Good quantity surveyors are comfortable with facts, figures and applied maths, but they also need to be good communicators.

With three female tutors teaching quantity surveying at Ara, the school encourages females to consider the profession.

WelTec student, Rachel Marr, was studying furniture design when she heard an advertisement on the radio for quantity surveying. Drawn by reliable job prospects, she decided to take it up.

“The course is challenging, but it’s worth it. I’d recommend it without a shadow of a doubt.

“Women excel in a lot of technical careers so there’s no reason why they wouldn’t excel in quantity surveying. It all comes down to awareness of this profession being a great career option.”

Executive director of the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Marilyn Moffatt, is proud of the growth the Institute has seen in female membership.

“Females make up 35 percent of the Institute’s student membership whereas they only comprise 13 percent of Institute’s working members. It shows that a quantity surveying career is appealing to younger women.

“Overall student membership has doubled in the last two years. Career prospects are great, the market requires more talent with the boom in construction we’re having in New Zealand,” says Ms Moffatt.

The 2017 Occupation Outlook tool released by The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), shows quantity surveying has a winning combination of both high job prospects, high income, and reasonable study fees.


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