The profession of construction economist has its roots several centuries ago. Indeed, the origin of this profession dates back to medieval times. This profession (QS or quantity surveyor) was first introduced in England to preserve the interests of the patrimony of royalty. In the French-speaking part, “toisers” appeared in Morocco, to become “quantity surveyors” and finally construction economists. Nowadays, it is a profession which evolves and adapts to the development of the construction industry and to new building techniques in order to offer services adapted to all requirements and all situations. In this article, you will learn how to become a construction economist.
Step 1. Get the right training
Pass your bac. You can have a general bac, preferably a bac S or an STI bac with the option "Civil Engineering" or you can get a professional bac in Building Studies of prices, organization and management of works. To then integrate yourself more easily into the job market, it is recommended to prepare a BTS in Construction Studies and Economics. The training that leads to this profession has evolved considerably in recent years as has the profession itself. Today, the field man is gradually giving way to scientific minds.
Step 2. Be versatile
Once you have completed your baccalaureate, you can obtain a professional license in Civil Engineering and Construction, specializing in Construction Economics, then obtain a Master in Construction Economist or Research. The heart of this business is construction in all its fields. This goes from design (help to architects, consulting engineers, individuals, public works owners) to implementation (costing, preparation of calls for tenders, site monitoring and acceptance of works). The economic function intervenes at all levels of construction, presentation, programming, project design, devolution of works, coordination and execution of controls and maintenance as well as operation of works.
Step 3. Choose an area
As a construction economist, you can work in the private or public sector. In the first case, you will participate in the construction of commercial premises, large private residences, sports establishments (for example equestrian clubs or golf clubs) or hotels. By putting yourself at the service of the public domain, you will participate in the construction of care centers and hospitals, schools, sports centers or swimming pools, universities, courts, offices or social housing. You will need to be able to provide a wide range of services such as cost estimation and planning, tendering, preparation of bills of quantities, procurement, post-contract cost administration services as well as payment recommendations, cash flow forecasts, cost analysis, possible negotiation of cost changes and of course, final accounts.
Step 4. Make your decision
Now that you have had the basics of being a construction economist, you need to take some time to think things through and then decide if you really want to go in this direction. You have certainly already understood it, you will have to obtain good academic results and be brilliant in certain subjects such as mathematics, computer science, statistics, analysis, physics, finance and you will have to master the French language perfectly and speak preferably English and if possible another language, because the markets open for this profession may push you to go to work in distant countries.
Step 5. Go to University
Take your baccalaureate and some things and go to a University. In France, to have a professional license, you can study at the University of Gradignan, Villeurbanne, Marne-la-Vallée, La Roche-sur-Yon, Besançon or Valenciennes. To then obtain a professional master's degree, you will have to study at ESOTEC in Cergy Saint Christophe, at the University of Valenciennes or at the Claude Bernard University in Lyon. You can find the detailed list of all schools, high schools and universities on this link.
Step 6. Find a job
In some countries the demand for construction economists is stagnant or declining, but in others it is growing. You may therefore need to change region or country in order to find a job that is both financially and professionally satisfying. Why don't you go and try your luck in Australia, Hong Kong or Canada? In France, you can try to work in the public domain or go to companies specializing in project management as is the case of the company Sterling Quest Associates which, if you have talent, can certainly get you your first works..
- If you are interested in this profession, study seriously and show perseverance, because, as with everything, if you really want it, you will make it!
- Once you have your diploma in hand, contact possible employers after writing a good CV.