Fancy building a new career? There's a growing demand for quantity surveyors in the construction industry.
FOR a job that is varied, allows you to work outside and yet still requires the kind of fine analysis that keeps your mind alive and active, look no further than training as a quantity surveyor.
Quantity surveyors are pivotal to the construction industry and, at the moment, this industry is crying out for them.
When the recession hit during the last decade and building work fell off, many experienced surveyors were forced to leave and find jobs elsewhere - and they have not returned.
The result is that today as the industry gradually picks up again companies are desperately looking for quantity surveyors to plug those vital gaps.
Sarah Speirs, director of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Scotland, explained: "Throughout the last few years, the RICS Construction Market Survey has identified a shortage in skills as workloads continue to increase across Scotland.
"Recent results show a rise in the number of new construction projects in Scotland, with 30 per cent reporting an increase in workloads.
"Overall, 65 per cent of chartered surveyors predict a growth in construction workloads during the next 12 months, yet almost twothirds report difficulty in sourcing labour as an obstacle to growth.
"There is a real need to attract more young people into the industry alongside an expansion of apprenticeship opportunities.
"RICS, and the industry as a whole, must respond to the growing skills gap by opening up apprenticeships, looking at more vocational options for 16-plus school leavers and increasing awareness of opportunities for young people within the industry."
A quantity surveyor manages all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from the initial calculations to the final figures.
Surveyors seek to minimise the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality.
Many of these are specified by building regulations, which the surveyor needs to understand and adhere to.
When the project is in progress, quantity surveyors keep track of any variations to the contract that may affect costs and create reports to show profitability.
The pay is good - quantity surveyors can expect a starting salary of about PS20,000 rising to upwards of PS50,000 for senior chartered surveyors.
In Scotland, quantity surveyors would be heavily involved in projects like building for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the new Forth crossing.
To become a quantity surveyor, you need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the RICS, which you can take at college or unviersity. But you can also qualify by studying part-time while working as a surveying technician.
IN DEMAND There is a need to attract more young people into quantity surveying