Introduction

Quantity Surveyor or known in the industry as QS is the person who keeps a close eye on project finances and contractual relationships. They are responsible for calculating and managing the costs relating to construction projects, from creating initial estimates to finalising the complete budget. Days in the life of a quantity surveyor vary – on one day you may find yourself in the office, but in other days you may be out on a construction site meeting with clients or consulting with construction personnel. No two projects are totally the same and there is a great deal of variety, which can be quite interesting for someone who does not like a routine. 

Why study Quantity Surveying in Australia?

  • Australian university reputation   

Australian universities are globally recognised due to the high level of education quality, student satisfaction and employment rate among graduates. According to QS World University Ranking 2021, Australia has 10 universities listed in the world’s Top 100 for the education field.  

  • A high demand job in Australia  

The construction industry has been played a key role in the recovery of Australian economy after the pandemic Covid-19. It is even anticipated that this industry will be boomed in the next decade because the Olympic 2032 will be held in Australia, resulting in the strong development of infrastructure and construction sites. The demand for Quantity Surveyors, therefore, will keep increasing strongly and there has been many job opportunities for international students after graduation. 

  • A high chance of getting a PR post-graduation  

As Quantity Surveying is on the medium and long-term strategic skills list, there are many potential PR visas that you can be eligible for. You can apply for points-tested based visas (subclass 189, 190 and 491) or employer sponsor visas (subclass 186, 482, 494).  

What quantity surveying courses are available for international students in Australia?

To become a Quantity Surveyor, you can choose to study a Bachelor or Master of Construction Management related courses in Australia. 

Many Australian universities provide a Bachelor of Construction Management (with or without Honour program), and the names of this course can differ, for instance:  

  • Bachelor of Construction Management (Griffith University, University of South Australia) 
  • Bachelor of Urban Development (Construction Management) (Queensland University of Technology – QUT) 
  • Bachelor of Building and Construction Management (University of Canberra) 
  • Bachelor of Construction Management and Property (University of New South Wales) 
  • Bachelor of Contruction Management and Quantity Surveying (Bond University) 

For the students who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree and now find a brighter way to apply for a skilled visa in Australia with the Quantity Surveyor occupation, the Master of Construction Practice will best suit you. Australia has 3 universities that provide the Master courses of Construction Management: 

  • Bond University (Gold Coast, Queensland – regional area): No related background in the previous bachelor qualification is required. 
  • Deakin University (Warrnambool campus – regional Victoria and other campuses in Melbourne and Geelong): Requires related background in the previous bachelor qualification. 
  • University of Melbourne:  

 2 years Master program: Requires related background 

 3 years Master program: No related background is required  

What are entry requirements for international students to study quantity surveying in Australia?

In order to apply for the Master of Construction Management related courses, you will need to submit the evidence of completion of an Australian bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and for the English language proficiency, Academic IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0) or PTE 58 will be required. It is noted that for some universities (such as Deakin University or University of Melbourne), you must have construction background to be eligible for this course. 

For the bachelor level, you must have completed an Australian Year 12 or equivalent, and normally you need to obtain an IELTS 6.5, with no band score under 6.0. If you do not meet the IELTS 6.5, don’t worry, you can still apply for a Bachelor of Construction Management in some universities that only requires IELTS 6.0, for example, Victoria University, University of Canberra, University of South Australia and University of Southern Queensland.  

How much does it cost to study quantity surveying courses in Australia?

The tuition fees for a Bachelor of Contruction Management program may vary depending on the study duration and reputation of universities that you apply for. However, the total cost for the entire program can range from AUD 100,000 to 140,000. Compared to the potential salary after graduation which is on average $AUD 73,543 for the entry level, the studying cost is reasonable.  

Contact us to learn more about the exact tuition fee offered by each university.

How to apply for a skill assessment for a Quantity Surveyor (QS) in Australia?

A Skilled Migration Assessment for the Quantity Surveyor occupation is a service performed by AIQS. If migration to Australia is your plan, you must have a QS skill assessment – Follow three steps below to possibly obtain it.  

Step 1: Check your eligibility 

If you chose to study a Bachelor or Postgraduate Degree which is accredited by AIQS, you would be eligible for the skills assessment and no working experience or English requirements are required. If your course is not accredited by AIQS, you will need at least 2 years of related work experience and only work experience post obtaining a recognised degree may potentially be counted. 

Step 2: Apply for a skill assessment 

Complete the  Skilled Migration Assessment Application Form  which contains payment details (Assessment fee is AU $610.50 for Qualification only) then submit this Application Form with payment and all required certified documents to AIQS. 

A certified copy of a document is a copy of an original document which is certified as a true copy by an authorised person. Authorised people include Justices of the Peace (JP’s), legal practitioners and police officers. Please note that certification should appear on each page of the submitted document and the certified documents are dated no older than 12 months from the date of submission. It may take up to two months after receiving all the required documents to complete an assessment. 

Step 3: Receive a skill assessment outcome 

If there are any deficiencies in your application, AIQS will notify you via email. Or if your application has been completed and assessed, you will receive an email advising you of the outcome. 

The skill assessment will be valid for 2 years from the date on your assessment letter. You may apply for a reassessment within 24 months of the assessment letter’s expiry date. 

What is a Quantity Surveyor’s PR pathway?

AIQS is the assessing authority nominated by the Australian Government to provide expert advice to the Department of Home Affairs about qualifications and skilled employment experience with the skilled occupation ‘Quantity Surveyor’ (ANZSCO 233213). There are many visa options under the Quantity Surveyor occupation that can lead to Permanent residency in Australia. Below are the common options.  

Skilled visas   

  • 189 – Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – is a points-tested visa, allowing you to live and work permanently in any state or territory in Australia. The minimum score that you are required to be considered for a visa invitation is 65, but you may need a higher score to increase your chance of getting an invite.  
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) – is a permanent residence visa but you need a nomination from one of Australian states or territories to apply for this visa. Each state may have its own occupation list and additional requirements, so you must investigate if you meet all the state’s eligibility criteria before asking for a nomination.  
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) is not permanent, but it can lead to a PR (visa 191). You must commit to stay and work in your nominating regional Australia for a minimal period of time and achieve at least 65 points to be apply for this visa.   

Employer Sponsored visas  

  • 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – allows you to work and stay indefinitely in Australia. To be eligible for this visa, you must be nominated by an approved employer and have at least 3 years of work experience as a Quantity Surveyor.  
  • 482 – Temporary Skilled Shortage (subclass 482) Medium Term Stream – allows you to stay and work in Australia for up to 4 years. To apply for this visa, you must have an employer who is willing to sponsor you. You will have a high chance of getting a PR after a 482 visa.  
  • 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) (subclass 494) is applicable for you if you have a regional employer who is willing to sponsor you. You must accumulate at least 3 years working as a Quantity Surveyor and obtain a relevant skills assessment. 

For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. For the 186, 482 and 494 visa subclasses, these are not points test based but you need to have a sponsor and are usually required to have at least 2-3 years of experience in the nominated occupation you are wishing to apply for. 

FAQ

What are other names for a quantity surveyor?

Beside Quantity Surveyor, there are many job titles that exist within the construction cost profession including cost estimator, cost engineer, cost manager, cost analyst, project coordinator, project cost controller and cost planner. In Australia, there are the typical employers that would need to recruit a QS for their company: 

  • Quantity surveying consultancies 
  • Project management consultancies 
  • Civil engineering contractors and consultancies 
  • Property firms 
  • House builders and housing associations 

What are benefits of studying quantity surveying in regional universities?

If you study Bachelor or Master of Construction Management (at least 2 years on a full-time basic) in regional Australia, you will have 5 points for your PR applications.   

For the postgraduate visa – subclass 485, studying in a regional area will give you extra one or two years living in Australia.  

  • The normal 485 visa duration for a bachelor graduate is 2 years. However, you will be able to stay and work in Australia up to 3 years if you finish your Bachelor in regional areas category 1 (e.g., Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast), and up to 4 years if you have completed your Bachelor in regional areas category 2 (e.g., Toowoomba, Gatton).  
  • The normal 485 visa duration for a master’s degree graduate is 3 years. However, you can stay in Australia up to 4 years after completing your course in regional areas category 1, and up to 5 years after graduation from a university in regional areas category 2.

Why should I choose to study quantity surveying courses accredited by AIQS?

If you have completed a Bachelor or Master of Construction Management program accredited by AIQS (Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors), you will automatically meet both Academic and English requirements for a QS skill assessment immediately.  

If I studied a quantity surveying course that is not accredited by AIQS, what should I do to get a skill assessment?

If your course is not accredited by AIQS, you are still able to obtain a skill assessment for quantity surveyor issued by AIQS. However, you must have at least 2 years of work experience in quantity surveying, full time basic, after graduation from your course.  

You must apply for a QS skill assessment under the Non-accredited Australian Qualification pathway. This pathway is also applied for those who hold an accredited qualification but would like to have your working experience assessed.  

What is the income of a quantity surveyor in Australia?

The average salary of a Quantity Surveyor falls betweenAU$95,000 and AU$115,000 according to Seek.com, but this number could differ depending on your experience. You can get up to AU$135,000 per year if you are an expert of this field. If you have an analytical mind with strong numerical and financial skills, then the role of quantity surveyor could be ideal for you. 

Do I need maths for quantity surveying?

Yes, but not much. You may need some maths skills when presenting figures and cost estimates. However, the formula to assess weights and volumes of construction projects are already available for quantity surveyors, and thus, you only need to be proficient with numbers, the advanced mathematics is not required.