Construction Cost Estimator vs. Quantity Surveyor – The Difference and What They Do

If you live in the USA and Canada, you are probably familiar with the terms Construction Cost Estimator or Construction Cost Estimating. Those who live in the UK, Australia, Ireland and former English colonies like South Africa and India are familiar with the terms Quantity Surveyor or Quantity Surveying.

QS vs Cost Estimator_550x334

So what are the differences between these two professional job titles? Here are the differences between a QS and a Cost Estimator:


Regional Differences: USA vs. UK


The roles of a Construction Estimator and QS might be different depending on the region in which they are based. In broad terms, a Quantity Surveyor in the UK is equivalent to a Cost Estimator in the USA. However, a Cost Estimator in the UK will have different requirements, which are usually far fewer than that of a professional QS in the same region. In the UK, Cost Estimating is a role that is part of the Quantity Surveying profession.


In the USA, a Construction Estimator may be required to play different roles depending on the company or organization that they are working for. In this case, the Estimator will be expected to carry out the full responsibilities as that of a Quantity Surveyor in the UK or do a part of the job description. Basically, Americans use the term “Construction Estimator” to describe an industry professional who does the following:


  • Construction Plan Takeoffs
  • Prepares Cost Estimates
  • Prepares Detailed Cost Estimates
  • Prepares Tender Documents
  • Contract Management
  • Site Measurements and re-measurements
  • Construction Cost Management , Valuations and Payment Certificates
  • Project Management


Depending on the type of Employer that you are working for, a Construction Cost Estimator will be expected to carry out some or all of the above roles. Some companies many require you to do project quantity takeoffs and pricing, others may require you to manage the project from preparing cost estimates to attending site meetings and doing valuations during the construction stage. Your services will be required until the project is finished, that is until the new house or building is handed over to the client, and finalization of the contract amount is done.

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1 pings

    • mwesigwa david on May 8, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Good work Bt hw can i get lectures of drawing å plan

  1. […] Cost Estimators aka Quantity Surveyors work for a number of organizations in building, civil engineering, home renovations, […]

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