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Estimator Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Estimator. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Estimator
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Estimator Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

Estimators work for manufacturing, engineering, construction or service companies. They work on the preparation, processing and submission of tenders for contracts by calculating the costs involved in supplying a product or service to the clients technical specifications.

When making estimates they take into account factors such as material costs, cost of operating or hiring plant or specialist equipment, transport costs, labour and other overheads such as rent, administration, electricity and other services. Estimators also have to build into their bids risk identification, projected timescales and allowances to cover contingencies.

In putting bids together, data is gathered from internal company records, stock figures, price indices, industry journals, quotations from suppliers and sub-contractors, and transport and hire companies. Estimators may specialise in one area such as time, labour or transport, and on large projects a team of estimators may be involved.

Estimators work closely with other professionals including quantity surveyors, buyers, construction managers and planning engineers.

Hours and Environment

Estimators work between 37 and 40 hours, Monday to Friday. However, overtime may be required when working to tight deadlines.

The work is usually office-based but estimators working in construction or engineering may be required to work on-site. In these situations protective clothing may be needed.

Travel to clients premises is often required, so a driving licence would be helpful.

Skills and Interests

To work as an estimator you should have:

  • strong numerical skills for calculations
  • good analytical skills
  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • computer skills
  • an understanding of engineering or architectural drawings and principles
  • a detailed knowledge of manufacturing or construction processes and costs
  • good commercial awareness
  • an awareness of data confidentiality
  • the ability to work on your own and as part of a team
  • an awareness of external factors such as legislation, trends in prices and exchange rates.


Most people enter estimating after previous experience in industries such as engineering or construction. See engineering/construction profiles for details of entry and training requirements.

The minimum entry requirements to start as a trainee or assistant estimator are normally five GCSEs/S grades including English and maths. An IT qualification would also be helpful. Many new entrants will have A levels or qualifications in engineering, construction, building studies or surveying at National Diploma or Higher National Certificate/Diploma level. Some will hold a degree.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Training will normally carried out on the job. Working as an estimator, you can study on a part-time basis to enhance your existing qualifications. For instance, studying for a BTEC HND or degree if you already hold a HNC.

You can also work towards the NVQ/SVQ in Project Control at Level 4.

Mandatory NVQ/SVQ units cover several areas including: Developing Objectives and Specifying Functions for Project Control; Analysing Project Risks and Managing Contingencies; Providing Support to Contract and Procurement Activities; and Assessing, Evaluating and Estimating Financial Resources.

Depending on role and responsibilities, there are other options on cost engineering and planning.

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has details of the NVQ/SVQ structure on their website. See below for details.

The NVQ/SVQ together with several years relevant experience can lead to membership of the Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE). For details of membership grades, contact the AcostE below.


The main employment sectors include light and heavy engineering, manufacturing, process industries such as oil and chemicals, public utilities, transport and construction.

Large organisations have estimating departments. In these, promotion may be possible from estimating assistant to more senior positions. With experience, opportunities such as project leader, section manager and estimating department manager may become available. Larger firms may have positions working on overseas contracts.

Small companies in some industries may recruit people with practical experience in manufacturing, installation, selling or accounts in their field to train specifically for estimating jobs.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

Assistant or trainee estimators start on a salary of around £16,000.
Qualified senior estimators may earn up to £30,000.
Chartered engineer estimators and departmental managers can earn £40,000 or more.

A salary package may include a company car and other job-related benefits.

Further information

The Association of Cost Engineers
Lea House
5 Middlewich Road
CW11 1XL
Tel: 01270 764798

Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board
Blue Court
Church Lane
Kings Langley
Tel: 01923 260000

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

Other Useful Estimator Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Estimator job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Estimator Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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