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How Do I Progress From A Quantity Surveyor To A Commercial Manager Role?

about 1 year ago by
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We thought it would be helpful to take a look at what employers look for when you are trying to make the step up from a Quantity Surveyor role to a Commercial Manager role.

Although every employer has slightly different requirements, there are certain skills and experiences that are essential to make the next step in your career in becoming a Commercial Manager.

What Qualifications and training are required?

Qualifications are key in making the next step as this will not only make you an attractive prospect for the employer (as you will have a theoretical commercial understanding), but also it will get you ahead of other candidates competing for the same role.

Ideally you would be Chartered and a Member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) and you would also hold a full BSc in Quantity Surveying. Alternatively, you could also hold a full BSc in Commercial Management in Construction.

As a bare minimum you would require an HNC in a relevant subject and really solid industry experience and knowledge.

How many years of experience are required?

Most employers would require that you have at least 8 years Quantity Surveying experience as a minimum. However industry averages suggest that most Quantity Surveyors who have made the move to a Commercial Manager role have on average 10-15 years’ experience.

Don’t let this put you off though, as in today’s market many employers are keen to progress employees quickly through their careers, due to the current skills shortage the construction industry is experiencing. Plus, if you tick all the other boxes, 8 years could quite easily be enough.

What managerial experience is required?

Having experience of managing a team is really important in your quest to move up to a Commercial Manager role, as managing people and a commercial team would be a big part of your role as Commercial Manager.

In an ideal world you would have previous experience of managing up to three Graduate Quantity Surveyors or Assistant Quantity Surveyors. This does all depend on what company you are looking to make the step up to Commercial Manager in, as experience of managing just one team member could be all that is required.

What contract experience is required?

It would be essential that you have experience dealing with relevant contract types, such as JCT for construction, NEC for infrastructure or ICHEME and ICE. If you don’t have this then make it a goal to get it!

What type of personality and skills are required?

Obviously every employer has different values they look for in their employees and this is down to what type of culture they are trying to create or have already within their team and business.  

The three key skills most Commercial Managers have and most employers look for are assertiveness, self-confidence and strong leadership. These three skills are crucial in being successful as a Commercial Manager, as you will often have big decisions to make, so you need to be confident in your ability and judgment and you will also have a larger team to lead through a project.  

What sector knowledge do you need?

Although we have seen Quantity Surveyors and Commercial Managers move from one sector to another, if you are trying to make the step up to Commercial Manager it would make it a lot easier if you were looking to stay in the same sector.

Employers would be far more enthusiastic to employ someone who is an expert in their field/sector, so don’t give yourself too much to deal with when looking to progress in your career.

So, we hope this has answered all or at least some of your questions. Remember, employers want driven, ambitious and enthusiastic employees in their teams and businesses, so make sure that when you are looking to make the move this comes across in your application and interview.


Are you are looking for a Commercial Manager role?

If you are looking to take your next step then get in touch with our team, as we are specialists in finding you exactly what you are looking for.

Alternatively, check out all of our current Commercial Manager jobs available.

Are you are looking to hire a Commercial Manager in your team?

If you are looking to hire for a Commercial Manager position then get in touch with our team, as we are specialists in finding you exactly what you are looking for. 

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