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

Estimators work out how much the different parts of an engineering or construction project will cost.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Estimator

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a higher national diploma or degree before starting work. Relevant subjects include:

  • structural engineering
  • civil engineering
  • construction management
  • quantity surveying

Courses at this level include topics like:

  • contract tendering
  • estimating
  • buying
  • cost management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information


You could apply for an apprenticeship to become an estimator.

Options include:

  • Project Controls Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Project Controls Professional Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Construction Quantity Surveyor Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

These can take between 3 and 4 years to complete.

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

More Information

Direct Application

You may be able to apply for an estimator position if you have qualifications and experience in related work, for example:

  • surveying
  • construction project management
  • civil engineering
  • structural engineering
  • procurement

More Information


Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association of Cost Engineers for professional development, to make new networking contacts and learn about industry news.

Further information

You can find more details about working as an estimator 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
  • excellent written communication skills
  • 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 confidently

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an estimator, you'll:

  • research the cost of materials, equipment, transport and labour
  • use planning and scheduling software to estimate timescales
  • assess the levels of risk on a project
  • prepare quotes and cost summaries for senior managers
  • help with bids for new contracts and support buying activities
  • monitor projects to make sure costs are kept in line with forecasts

Working environment

You could work in an office or on a construction site.

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 areas like:

  • quantity surveying
  • supply chain management
  • consultancy

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Altrad Babcock Limited Project Control Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £12,646.40 a year Annually
  • Location: Birmingham New Road

Project Controls Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £17,000 a year Annually
  • Location: Luton

Courses In England

BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Liverpool

Quantity Surveying BSc (Hons), Degree Apprenticeship

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: London

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