Estimators work out how much it will cost for a company to supply products and services to its clients.
Salary Range: £20,000 to £60,000
How to become an estimator
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You could do a higher national diploma or degree before looking for work. Relevant subjects include:
- structural engineering
- civil engineering
- quantity surveying
Courses at this level usually include units on contract tendering, estimating and buying.
You’ll usually need:
- between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could start by taking a project controls technician advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could move into estimating work after getting work experience as an administrator, craftsperson, technician or surveying assistant.
- you’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on a construction site
Professional and industry bodies
You could apply to join the Association of Cost Engineers for professional development, networking opportunities and industry news.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- analytical thinking skills
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- persistence and determination
- knowledge of building and construction
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- researching materials, equipment, transport and labour costs
- collecting quotes from materials suppliers and sub-contractors
- helping plan job timescales
- assessing the levels of risk on a project
- analysing company data, exchange rates and prices
- preparing and submitting quotations and cost summaries for work
- helping with bids for new contracts and supporting buying activities
- monitoring the stages of a project to make sure costs are kept in line with forecasts
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a project team leader, quality assurance inspector or contracts manager.
You could also move into a related area, like quantity surveying, supply chain or general management.