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Quantity Surveyors: Project QS Salary Expectations

Written by: Oyster Partnership
Published on: 21 Dec 2016


Do you know your worth in today's market?

Here's a hint: if you read my previous post then it's fair to say you'll have a good idea because the most sensible employers out there are keeping things steady.

MRICS project QS, 2–3 years’ experience: £40k–£45k

Good entry-level chartered quantity surveyors working on projects should reach the £40,000 mark quite comfortably. If you’re hitting £45,000, that’s pretty much top end, unless you’re also pulling in some serious fees.

MRICS project QS, 4–6 years’ experience: £45k–£55k

Usually this bracket is made up of two very different profiles.

1. You have gradually built up your experience and progressed to running your own projects in the past 12 months or so.

2. You have done the work and are ready to show the next crop of APC-level surveyors how it’s done – both as a mentor and as a day-to-day point of reference.

MRICS senior QS, >5 years’ experience: £55k–£65k

Still the most sought-after bracket in the market. Simply put, the real value in your current role should be where you can see yourself heading in the next 12–24 months. Can you achieve Associate status, are your aspirations for personal development being met and, above all else, are you being challenged and coached to ensure you get there?

MRICS associate QS, >8 years’ experience: > £65k

As with any senior role, salary bands at this level fall by the wayside and it comes down to how much you are worth to the business – what level of fees are you generating, what value of commissions are you or your team responsible for, are you helping the business grow, do you have any specific expertise that is invaluable to the practice? This situation is pretty much consistent from here upwards.

Stick or twist?

While there will be 100 recruiters lining up to offer you something new, don’t be fooled into moving just for the sake of it – or even just for the money.

Ask your boss to help you map out your career plan and future progression, and if you are happy with how it all looks then sit tight and reassess how things pan out over the next six and then 12 months. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

On the other hand, if you are interested in exploring your options, do yourself a favour and work out whether your knows their market before you fire off a CV. Arrange a time to speak properly over the phone, or better still grab a coffee and meet face to face.


Figures above are based on salary combined with car allowance, but do not include wider benefits of your package such as healthcare, pension, flexi benefits, discretionary bonus, etc. As the figures are based on London salaries, they are also likely to be 5–15% lower regionally, depending on your location.

Jake Major, Oyster Partnership

Image: Petras Gagilas