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Design & planning


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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; attending events or appointments

Future employment

There will be 4.1% more Estimator jobs in 2026.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • research materials, equipment, transport and labour costs
  • collect quotes from materials suppliers and sub-contractors
  • help plan job timescales
  • 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

Working environment

You could work in an office.

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • between 1 and 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national diploma or degree
For more information

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

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

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

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

  • administrator
  • craftsperson
  • technician
  • surveying assistant

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could apply to join the Association of Cost Engineers for professional development, networking opportunities and industry news.

Further information

You can find more details about working in construction and engineering from:Go Construct; Tomorrow's Engineers

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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.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • business management skills
  • 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
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