From The Royal Engineers to Quantity Surveyor

Moreton & Partners

Sam Phipps-Ward served in the Royal Engineers for over 5-years, leaving as a Captain, in 2021. “I was an Armoured Engineer Troop Commander. This involved leading a team of 40 specialist military engineers to deliver engineering solutions to armoured battlegroup formations in the form of obstacle breaching and building, in addition to providing general military engineering support such as construction. Troop Commander at the Royal School of Military Engineering, the UK Army’s specialist artisan trade training establishment. I was entrusted to oversee the delivery of Surveyor, Draftsman and Construction Materials Technician trade courses to over 200 trainees per annum. Typical day was working closely with civilian partners and military colleagues to ensure specialist engineer training was delivered in an efficient, productive, and engaging manner. My key skills include leadership, communication and confidence.”

Sam’s current role is Project Quantity Surveyor at Moreton & Partners, “BuildForce introduced me to UCEM, where I studied MSc Quantity Surveying. During my studies I networked with UCEM alumni who worked at Turner & Townsend. Following this, I undertook several interviews and secured a position in their London office. I recently made the transition from T&T to Moreton & Partners as I wanted to work closer to home. My experience with T&T and quals from UCEM undoubtedly got me the job I’m in now.”

“My greatest challenge was, there were so few service leavers becoming Quantity Surveyors, it made it more daunting to make the transition. Luckily for me, BuildForce used their network to put me in touch with fellow ex-military Quantity Surveyors who gave me realistic advice. Undertaking an MSc was challenging, particularly while still serving and working. Finding an organisation that understands the value of military service and translating that into a suitable compensation package. Knowing your worth is key. I would like to see more of a structured military transition programme for service leavers to become quantity surveyors / cost managers. There is an immense demand for commercial professionals throughout the construction industry and I believe organisations should spread awareness of the profession amongst service leavers and military personnel; this will attract service leavers to the profession.”

“My day job I provide commercial management advice to major infrastructure clients such as South East Water, Heathrow Airport and Network Rail. In layman’s terms, I manage the money on construction projects. I currently provide clients with commercial advice that enables them to make informed decisions regarding the cost of their project. I advise them on all commercial aspects, from pre-construction stages through to delivery and completion. Ultimately, my role is to ensure that the client’s construction projects are cost efficient and provide value for money.”

Military skills Sam uses in his day job “problem solving, planning and communication are vital to my current role. Equally, the meticulous attention to detail that the military drills into you is very important as a commercial professional. Advice I would give other service leavers leaving the Armed Forces, is to consider Quantity Surveying. Demand exceeds supply throughout the industry which means the profession is well compensated and secure. Few service leavers consider the profession due to lack of awareness and exposure to commercial management during service.”

Sam advised the three words to describe a career in construction as “purposeful, varied, and challenging. Description of veterans to civvy employers would be resourceful, conscientious, and reliable.”