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NandoF

Quantity Surveying in Australia

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Hello,

My partner and I have decided to move to Perth, WA and are in the process of applying for the 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa. I am a Quantity Surveyor and have just under two years experience. By the time our visa is granted, I should have just over 4 years experience. I also have an MSc in Quantity Surveying.

I was wondering if anyone knows what the job prospects are like for UK trained Quantity Surveyors in Perth and the surrounding area? I've had a look on the Seek websites and have seen a few jobs. Some of these are asking for Australian experience specifically and I was wondering if this would be a huge barrier not having this experience?

The other question I have related to salaries and cost of living. From what I can see, at least in the early stages of my career, I would be earning around the same amount of money working in Perth or the surrounding area as I do in the UK. Does anyone know if you need more money in WA than you need in the UK to have the same kind of lifestyle? We will be renting in the suburbs for the first few years and are intending to stay fairly near to but not in Perth. We tend to go out to restaurants a few times a month and out to pubs a couple of times a month. I think our main expenses would be rent and a car which  would need for work.

Thanks in advance.

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It can depend on your background and experience, have you a contractor or PQS? If you have engineering/infrastructure background there are a lot of opportunities in mining at the moment, I am based in VIC and work for a PQS firm but a few colleagues from our Perth office have recently left to join BHP so they seem to be hiring.

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On 03/06/2020 at 23:01, EJMac said:

It can depend on your background and experience, have you a contractor or PQS? If you have engineering/infrastructure background there are a lot of opportunities in mining at the moment, I am based in VIC and work for a PQS firm but a few colleagues from our Perth office have recently left to join BHP so they seem to be hiring.

Thanks for your reply. I have just over 1 years experience working for a consultancy as a PQS and am currently working as a Contractor's QS with a Civil Engineering contractor. I'm planning on staying in the Contractor's QS side of things. Some of the Estimator jobs I had looked at are paying around 70,000 - 80,000 AUD and I wondered if that is a good salary for Perth? The Contracts Administrator jobs pay a bit better but I'm not sure if I would qualify for these?

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Hi Nando

I am a QS working in Perth atm. I was working for a contractor in the UK but for a PQS firm here. It's slightly different, a contractors QS is a contracts administrator here so you would probably be ok to apply..

There are a few jobs advertised but it's quite tough at the moment as a lot of people are out of work. Infrastructure is starting to boom with a lot of rail and road projects due to start over the next couple of years. Apparently UK experience is favourable. $70-$80k isn't a bad starting salary.. good luck 

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Hi Nando, 

I was in a similar position to you five years ago (albeit i don't have an MSc!). I generally found that  Australian experience is desirable in most cases and not essential. I will caveat that though as 5 years ago the market was very different to what it probably is now......  UK QS's are generally pretty sought after I've found as the QS profession as a whole is still relatively new in Australia, compared the the UK where it is an established profession. 

Regarding the cost of living, I'm not sure where in the UK you are but before i left i was earning around £35k as a newly chartered QS in London. When i landed in Sydney, I started on a salary of $82k (PQS) which today is around £45k. Again though although you earn more the cost of living on the whole i find is more in Australia than the UK, so although you have more money coming in more money is also going out! If you're living in the suburbs rather than the CBD this will help. 

A contractors QS is known as a Contracts Administrator out here. I would say for a ballpark salary you'd be looking around $80k - $90k given your experience. 

Hope this helps. If you need any further information feel free to reply / DM me. 

Thanks,

 

 

 

 

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On 03/08/2020 at 10:07, Vicky87 said:

Hi Nando

I am a QS working in Perth atm. I was working for a contractor in the UK but for a PQS firm here. It's slightly different, a contractors QS is a contracts administrator here so you would probably be ok to apply..

There are a few jobs advertised but it's quite tough at the moment as a lot of people are out of work. Infrastructure is starting to boom with a lot of rail and road projects due to start over the next couple of years. Apparently UK experience is favourable. $70-$80k isn't a bad starting salary.. good luck 

Thanks so much for your reply - very helpful. I'm hoping the situation improves in a couple of years when we are planning on moving. I can imagine it's pretty tough right now following the covid 19 lockdowns. 

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On 10/08/2020 at 10:27, Jhouse101 said:

Hi Nando, 

I was in a similar position to you five years ago (albeit i don't have an MSc!). I generally found that  Australian experience is desirable in most cases and not essential. I will caveat that though as 5 years ago the market was very different to what it probably is now......  UK QS's are generally pretty sought after I've found as the QS profession as a whole is still relatively new in Australia, compared the the UK where it is an established profession. 

Regarding the cost of living, I'm not sure where in the UK you are but before i left i was earning around £35k as a newly chartered QS in London. When i landed in Sydney, I started on a salary of $82k (PQS) which today is around £45k. Again though although you earn more the cost of living on the whole i find is more in Australia than the UK, so although you have more money coming in more money is also going out! If you're living in the suburbs rather than the CBD this will help. 

A contractors QS is known as a Contracts Administrator out here. I would say for a ballpark salary you'd be looking around $80k - $90k given your experience. 

Hope this helps. If you need any further information feel free to reply / DM me. 

Thanks,

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply. Very helpful and much appreciated. I may come back to you with some more questions at some point once I've had a think 🙂

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