Permanent vs Contract for Quantity Surveyor Professionals

May 30, 2017

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of Quantity Surveyors moving into contract work and reaping the benefits. However, with a skills shortage of Quantity Surveyors around the UK, both permanent and contract staff are now being paid generously. With the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations, are contract sector professionals taking into account the risks of the future, or is it in fact a sensible financial decision? Here we weigh up the pros and cons of permanent and contract work for Quantity Surveyors.

What are the risks of working on a contract basis?

More disposable when working for a company on a contract basis you are more disposable than permanent staff. Contracts could be cut short and you could find yourself out of work until the next contract comes along.

Brexit uncertainty – with the upcoming general elections, and the Brexit negotiations on the horizon, worries of a slow in the construction industry have been discussed. Although we still have lots of roles coming in and are as busy as ever, for the more cautious candidates this could be something to think about.

Why do workers seem to prefer contract work?

Varietycontract work gives the opportunity to work on a whole range of projects. You’ll have no time to get bored as you will always be moving on to something else.

Money – In general, salaries for a Quantity Surveyor are typically higher working on a contract basis than those working for a Main Contractor, Consultancy or a Client.

Experience – with contract work you experience a range of different environments, cultures and personalities. This experience soon makes your CV become more expansive and diverse.

What are the benefits of working on a permanent basis?

Security – the worry of running out of work and not being able to find your next contract is non-existent. Permanent work gives you the confidence that if you perform your job role is secure.

Progression – with permanent staff, companies see you as a permanent asset and are more likely to invest in you to grow alongside the company. Career paths are often laid out for you with goals to help you progress.

Additional Benefits – Permanent work can come with numerous benefits. Holiday pay, company cars and team nights out are just some of the things you can expect.

Being part of the team – building relationships, friendships and feeling like part of the team is a great benefit of permanent work. The contract work can sometimes feel lonely, and this reason can push people to work on a permanent basis.

Do employers prefer to hire permanent or contract staff?

This varies on the company and the project in hand, however, permanent staff are less of a cost to a business. The cost of paying a contract professional can be much higher than investing in a permanent member of staff, so while this is more attractive to employees, it is not necessarily as appealing to businesses looking for someone long term. However, if a client has a short-term project and knows they only require a certain skill set for a specific period, a contractor becomes the most viable option.

There are clearly benefits of both permanent and contract work, and depending on your circumstances either could be right for you. Do your research and know what to expect. If you have any pros or cons you’d like to share with us about your QS career, or just want a chat about the industry and what else is out there, then get in touch today on 01489 774 010 or email your CV to [email protected].



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