By Ian Forsyth Business editor
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Quantity surveyors are valued for their financial acumen
THERE is currently a national shortage of quantity surveyors in the UK.
The situation is anticipated to get worse, with approximately 25% of chartered quantity surveyors due to retire in the near future.
Aberdeen is no exception, with many local firms finding it difficult to recruit or retain staff.
There is no doubt that the credit crunch is having an effect on the level of activity in the building sector.
The adverse economic environment will undoubtedly have an effect on employment opportunities and salary levels for quantity surveyors in the near future.
However, there is reason for optimism, especially as anyone entering into quantity surveying training now is expected to graduate at the same time as the economy is predicted to have recovered.
Graham Castle, senior lecturer at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Robert Gordon University, believes that surveying has much to offer prospective students.
He said: "The building industry has proved to be unattractive to school leavers, with degrees in subjects such as management and sports science proving more popular.
"However, quantity surveying affords a highly paid and rewarding career with skills which are sought after all over the world.”
Quantity surveyors are valued for their financial acumen and management skills by many diverse industries including building, civil engineering, heavy and offshore engineering, oil and petrochemical industries as well as tax consultancy firms.
However, it is not just school leavers who are considering surveying. It is also becoming attractive to a growing number of people who initially studied other disciplines or wish to switch careers.
Atholl Buchan studied German and history of art at Aberdeen University, where his studies gave him an interest in the construction industry and led to his eventual decision to become a quantity surveyor.
The graduate diploma in quantity surveying at RGU, which is Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors accredited, gave Atholl the necessary qualification and after just 18 months he started his new career path with Aberdeen company Armour & Partners.
Martin Rodger, a qualified naval architect and offshore engineer by degree, chose the quantity surveying route through the conversion course at RGU. Having worked offshore worldwide for five years as an engineer he was looking for a land-based career that would offer him the best prospects of working anywhere in the country.
Having been at RGU for only seven months, Martin secured a job on course completion with Davis Langdon.