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
  • 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:

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:

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.