Take an insider’s look at the role of a Quantity Surveyor

A quantity surveyor advises aspiring engineers.

Clayton Prins, Quantity Surveyor, provides insight into his role and advises aspiring engineers.

Recently, Careers24 sat down to chat with Quantity Surveyor, Clayton Prins. Clayton works for a prominent engineering and construction company in Cape Town. He provided some insight as to what his role entails and how he would advise aspiring engineers looking to work in this sector. 

Clayton began his engineering career 13 years ago. This started as an internship, yet he has always displayed an interest in architecture and design.

Learn more about how to land an exciting internship here 

“I have always had a passion for buildings and an interest in architecture and drafting for structures,” he tells Careers24. Clayton obtained his National Diploma in Civil Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, (formerly known as Pentech). “We need to make sure we have the latest technology in order to remain competitive,” he says, as part of his role is to keep abreast of new technology and trends in order to stay ahead in the industry.

Clayton explains his job role to Careers24: “I am somewhat of an advisor. I advise the good, the bad, what works and what doesn’t. I do a lot of accounting, and work with figures and budgets. Basically, as contractors we get open and closed tenders which we bid for. The tenders are for the whole of the Western Cape and shared between five or eight guys at times.”

“It is a fair process and we even get told where you we are in the pecking order for the jobs. Once we've received confirmation that we've been awarded the contract, I have already sourced prices for materials within an allowed balance as everything gets audited. From there, I will do claiming, measurement, handling of sub-contractors and drawing up of certificates, which is our payment claim. I measure and quantify everything and then sit with an engineer to further analyse.”

Read: 7 typical interview questions that Quantity Surveyors should expect 

Clayton also draws up annual labour reporting figures which must be submitted to the city or client, depending on the tender. He forecasts reports every month and presents project meetings to his manager and director.

 “And we still have deadlines in spite of all the obstacles for example riots or events, in and around the city.”

Prins advises aspiring students to focus on doing well in technical subjects. “I would say their focus should be more maths and physics in high school. You also need to be able to speak to people as you will deal in all sorts of scenarios some of which may include negotiations,” Prins says.

Interested in following an engineering career? Take a look at the top engineering jobs on Careers24 .

Laura Africa serves as Customer Service Liaison and Writer at Careers24. She started her career as a journalist, and shifted into customer service after discovering her passion is to assist people and deliver sterling service. In her downtime, Laura enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. 

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