Alternative titles for this job include Cost engineer, construction estimator, cost planner

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

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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
  • 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

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

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

  • administrator
  • craftsperson
  • technician
  • surveying assistant

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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:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

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.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Degree Apprentice Construction Project Manager

  • Wage: £19,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Union Street, Torquay

Apprentice Construction Manager

  • Wage: £20,000.00 Annually
  • Location: London

Courses In England

BSc (Hons) Construction Management

  • Start date: 19 September 2023
  • Location: Leicester

BSc (Hons) Construction Management

  • Start date: 01 September 2023
  • Location: Liverpool

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