Quantity surveying is a major part of the construction industry and a career that offers a myriad of options for those prepared to study and gain the work experience, and here Andro Sneddon of Glasgow-based Merchant Homes tells us about reaching his new role, what it involves and the career ambitions he has.
What is your role and its general responsibilities?
My current job title is assistant quantity surveyor at Merchant Homes. My day-to-day roles include carrying out technical measurements and take-offs from architectural drawings and site layouts. This is used to determine the quantity of material required for a job or to estimate the volume of work that needs to be carried out.
I’ve gradually been assigned more tasks and responsibilities within quantity surveying aspect of my job role but I’ve also have experience in customer care. This involves liaising with subcontractors and clients, creating a great foundation for my current role. In addition, I’ve worked within purchasing, website management and arranging utilities on sites.
Which are your favourite parts of your job, and why?
I love the variety my job offers. At Merchant Homes, no day is the same meaning it’s in no way repetitive. Being involved in different parts of the business has allowed me to gain a greater insight of the industry and each sector within the housebuilding process.
I really enjoy seeing the overall structure in the various processes from arranging excavators on site for digging foundations to dealing with clients who have just moved in to their dream home – it’s exciting to see the end result.
The variation in tasks keeps the job interesting and challenging – which I know can be different in other industries and job roles.
What studying and work experience have brought you to this job?
I started with Merchant Homes as an administration assistant more than four years ago, having previously worked in clerical posts. I also have experience in direct sales which has helped me when dealing with clients.
In the past, I’ve had some involvement with graphic design which has proved useful when creating building parts of the Merchant Homes website. The management team has always encouraged me learn and progress within the company which has been amazing. Earlier this year I completed a day release HNC course in quantity surveying, gaining an A for my graded unit, which has been great for my current role.
Did you always have ambitions of working in the property industry?
In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted variety in my career. I always tried to keep an open mind about job opportunities. When the opportunity to work at Merchant Homes came up, my mind was made up and I really wanted to get started.
I’ve worked in a number of different sectors but I really enjoy the property industry – it’s something completely tangible and something that affects everyone. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you five years ago that I would be in this job, but I’m so glad it’s worked out the way it has!
What is it about working for Merchant Homes that is particularly appealing?
It’s great to learn from people who have a lot of credible experience within the industry. Whether it’s visiting sites, covering a sales office or measuring drawings – I’m always working alongside people who have a wealth of experience. It’s great to be in an environment where you are always learning – particularly when you’re involved in different parts of the business. I think I’m quite lucky in that respect.
What are your long-term career ambitions?
I’d like to continue on the path I’m on just now, gradually being able to do more QS tasks, picking things up as I go from the people around me and potentially looking after all the surveying for a site myself in a few of years’ time.