Davis Langdon

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00:02 I’m Sam M, I’m the managing partner for, for Davis Langdon.

00:08 I look after the Scotland offices. We employ about 150 quantity surveyors, project managers and building surveyors. Every single job we do is different on a diff, every day is different and clients will want something different, it’s not without its stresses I have to say.

00:27 Being from the Isle of Skye there wasn’t much other than going to a profession into teaching, into fishing or tourism and none of these really attracted me.

00:40 Both my parents were teachers. My father dies when I was in about 10 years old so my mother was left as a, as a teacher on, on Skye. I think that put me off teaching, I couldn’t imagine when I was in school that I would ever be a quantity surveyor or, or be in this position that I’m in now.

01:01 I’m afraid when I was in school I didn’t really attend terribly, terribly well to, to my studies, to everything and I was, I was going through I don’t know a rebellious stage in, in a way.

01:15 At age 11 we were bussed away from our home, which was only 23 miles away from the school but we were made to stay in a, in a boys hostel from Monday to Friday that was from age 11 to 17. We were put in with a bunch of other boys that we didn’t really know that you had to live in a dorm with 6 other people in a dorm. You had awful masters who were, you know, created rules but I think one of the big benefits I had from it was that as part of that regime we had to do 2 hours study every night, you know no matter what happens we had to do 2 hours study and the teachers would patrol up and down, make sure you weren’t reading comics, we weren’t reading other books. So to prevent boredom you had to do some sort of studying and that is what took me through school days otherwise I would, you know I would be you know still walking, walking the streets looking for a job or something by now but.

02:16 And I had, had generally no idea of what I was going to be doing when I, when I left, left school. But I had some qualifications and I remember my granny had said, why don’t you do surveying and so I looked at surveying and I thought, oh yes outside job, that’s great I’ll, I’ll apply for a college. I went down to Dundee for a college, for an interview with a college there and through the interview I remember the lecturer saying, do you know what quantity surveying is? I said, well actually no I don’t. But I still, I still got into the college and I got through and I got my degree.

02:56 And then I say a little advert for, a box number advert for a, for a job in the Middle East and I thought that’s for me I want, I want there. I think I even dreamt of Ferraris and things. But I applied, and didn’t hear anything for about 9 months and then I got a phone call asking me if I was still interested in the Middle East. Of course I said yes and jumped at it and landed out in, in Qatar within about 3 months. And started from there, 2 years there, went off to Brunei for 3 years, to Singapore, Hong Kong, then back to London and up to, to Scotland. So a very varied career.

03:36 I think looking back I think that the one turning was my, my, my granny sort of saying you know you must, you must do something and, and why not quantity survey, why not surveying. And I thought it was land surveying she was talking about or something that was outside trampling through fields and not having to do very much. And it’s made a big impression on me all my life you know that question, do you know what quantity surveying is and I was so shocked there that I really thought well actually I’ve got to do something I can’t just be in this position again.

04:07 END

Sam M is the Managing Partner for construction consultants, Davis Langdon. He comes from the Isle of Skye, where teaching, fishing and tourism seemed to be the only options. His granny suggested quantity surveying and he applied for that without really knowing what it was. Now he’s in charge of an office which manages 150 quantity surveyors, building surveyors and project managers.

More information about Chartered surveyors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

86%  male 
14%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Chartered surveyors conduct surveys related to the measurement, management, valuation and development of land, natural resources, buildings, other types of property, and infrastructure such as harbours, roads and railway lines.
Entrants usually possess an accredited degree, equivalent qualification and/or postgraduate qualification. Entrants must also have successfully completed a probationary training period and professional assessment. Entry requirements to professional bodies vary.
  • Surveys, measures and describes land surfaces to establish property boundaries and to aid with construction or cartographic work;
  • Surveys mines, prepares drawings of surfaces, hazards and other features to control the extent and direction of mining;
  • Surveys buildings to determine necessary alterations and repairs;
  • Measures shore lines, elevations and underwater contours, establishes high and low water marks, plots shore features and defines navigable channels.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Architectural & related 31645
Real estate 15817
Construction 3694
Head offices, etc 2943
Specialised construction 2902
Public admin. & defence 1728
Health 1645
Membership organisations 1592
Other professional 1394
Office admin. 1155
Employment status

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