Job Description:

Estimators work out how much it will cost for a company to supply products and services to its clients.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • research materials, equipment, transport and labour costs
  • collect quotes from materials suppliers and sub-contractors
  • help plan job timescales (organisational skills)
  • assess the levels of risk on a project
  • analyse company data, exchange rates and prices
  • prepare and submit quotations and cost summaries for work
  • help with bids for new contracts and support buying activities
  • monitor the stages of a project to make sure costs are kept in line with forecasts


You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination (drive)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Estimator, you’ll typically need strong analytical, mathematical, and communication skills, although there are no specific requirements for this role. Estimators are responsible for calculating the costs associated with construction projects, manufacturing, or other projects. Here are recommended subjects and considerations:

  1. Mathematics: Strong math skills are essential for estimating costs accurately. You’ll use mathematical formulas and calculations to determine material quantities, labor costs, and project budgets.
  2. English: Effective written and verbal communication skills are important for creating cost estimates, presenting proposals, and collaborating with clients and team members.
  3. Business Studies (optional): Courses in business studies can provide insights into project management, budgeting, and financial analysis, which are relevant to the role of an Estimator.
  4. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using spreadsheet software, construction estimating software, and project management tools is valuable for creating and managing cost estimates.
  5. Design and Technology (optional): Courses in design and technology can provide an understanding of construction methods and materials, which can be beneficial for estimating costs in the construction industry.

Post School

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
  • construction management
  • quantity surveying

Courses at this level usually include relevant units on topics like:

  • contract tendering
  • estimating
  • buying

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • project controls technician advanced apprenticeship
  • project controls professional degree apprenticeship
  • construction site management degree apprenticeship

You could apply for a job as an estimator after getting relevant construction industry experience in roles like:

  • administrator
  • craftsperson
  • technician
  • surveying assistant

In the UK you’ll need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to train and work on a construction site.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical working hours could be variable.

You could work in an office.

Career Path & 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.