What Does a Quantity Surveyor Trainee Do?

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  • Written By: Amy Rodriguez
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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A quantity surveyor trainee assists the main quantity surveyor at a construction job site or office position. Quantity surveyors differ from general surveyors since they specialize in cost calculations regarding construction surveying practices and overall profit. The surveying profession itself centers on a precise examination of land, including measuring elevations and boundaries. Trainees help the quantity surveyor by preparing documents, assisting in client meetings, and supporting job site surveying parameters.

Documenting and monitoring costs across a normal work day is one main duty of the quantity surveyor trainee. In fact, all surveying employees' daily work data, such as measuring structural building points, must be allocated into the job site's accounting log. Each employee's time and data collection must be documented so that he or she can be paid accordingly. As a result, the trainee can monitor daily productivity that reflects either a profit or loss.

The quantity surveyor trainee will report the profit or loss documentation to the main quantity surveyor. These two employees may work together to plan a more productive work cycle for future job site surveying practices. For example, surveying crews can be split into smaller groups to cover a larger area, thereby increasing productivity. Alternative surveying practices may be implemented, such as using new measuring instruments, to help cut labor and material costs.


Frequent client meetings are imperative for communication between the surveying unit and construction crew. The quantity surveyor trainee must schedule and administer the meeting. A key ability for a successful trainee is explaining surveying data in an understandable way; construction clientele needs this information to control overall costs when building a structure. Incomplete or misunderstood data can result in high material costs. For example, a structure inadvertently built across a property line must be removed and rebuilt in the correct area, contributing to more labor and costly material use.

Some difficult surveying practices and data collection techniques may require the quantity surveyor trainee to help surveyors on the job site. The trainee can offer simple solutions in a real life application so that labor costs remain low. In fact, working out in the field allows the trainee to understand and formulate new surveying solutions for future work. Data collection strategies that fail can be altered immediately for better productivity; in contrast, large surveying failures can be documented and analyzed after the work day if an alternative is not found.


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