Alternative titles for this job include Cost engineer

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


£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings attending events or appointments

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
  • quantity surveying

Courses at this level usually include units on contract tendering, estimating and buying.

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 start by taking a project controls technician advanced 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

More information


You could move into estimating work after getting work experience as an administrator, craftsperson, technician or 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 and Tomorrow's Engineers.

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
  • 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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • researching materials, equipment, transport and labour costs
  • collecting quotes from materials suppliers and sub-contractors
  • helping plan job timescales
  • assessing the levels of risk on a project
  • analysing company data, exchange rates and prices
  • preparing and submitting quotations and cost summaries for work
  • helping with bids for new contracts and supporting buying activities
  • monitoring 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

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

Apprenticeships In England

Project Controls Technician Apprentice

  • Wage : £156.00 Weekly
  • Location: Leatherhead KT22 7NL

Courses In England

Construction Site Management - L6

  • Start date: 14 September 2020

BSc (Hons) Construction Management

  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: Liverpool

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