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Finding your fit: QS firm or general contractor?

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hays Blog: QS Firm vs General ContractorThere are lots of career options available for estimators and quantity surveyors in today’s construction market, but which career path is right for you?

We break down the different cultures and opportunities in two common careers.

As an estimator, should you be looking at a specialty quantity surveyor firm, or is a larger general contractor the right fit?

Many quantity surveyor firms have the culture of a professional services or consulting employer. It’s more formal, so shine your shoes and dry clean your suit. If a more relaxed work environment is your preference then a general contractor will offer a less-formal environment, while still offering that dynamic atmosphere – especially as bid deadlines loom.

If you want to specialize in a particular sector or type of building then a general contractor will likely be able to support you in those types of projects, or you can find a company that focuses in that area. However, if you’re concerned about becoming pigeonholed, a QS firm will offer broad exposure across a range of sectors.

Many QS firms are based downtown, accessible by transit and great for those looking for the professional city lifestyle. General contractors tend to be located outside the core, so if you’re commuting by car it might be a better option.

There’s no right answer for everyone. A Hays consultant can help you decide which opportunity is the best fit for your lifestyle and ambitions.

Latest opportunities

Job Title Location Job ID
Estimator - Plumbing & Heating  Ottawa 1046992
ICI Construction Estimator Toronto 1045158
Mechanical Estimator Ottawa 1045778
Estimator - Civil  Richmond 1041463
Intermediate Estimator
 Langley 1044584
Estimator Toronto 1047127


Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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