Signs a Career as an Estimator is for You

Signs a Career as an Estimator is for You

Signs a Career as an Estimator is for You

An Estimator is responsible for assessing the cost of projects and presenting reports to clients. Reports must detail pricing and quality. Estimators are required on small and large scale projects. Here are the signs you’d make a good estimator:


You have…


  • excellent numeracy skills
  • negotiating skills
  • management skills
  • attention to detail
  • the ability to meet deadlines 
  • interest in the construction industry 
  • excellent problem-solving skills
  • teamwork skills
  • presentations skills 
  • organised and methodical 
  • IT literacy
  • strong communication skills
  • organisational skills.


You want to…


  • clarify the client’s needs and expectations 
  • read blueprints and take measurements 
  • make use of relevant computer software such as Excel, Word and Autodesk DWG TrueView 
  • calculate the cost of materials, transport, labour and equipment hire 
  • obtain quotes for predicted requirements from sub-contractors and suppliers 
  • collate detailed price-lists
  • compile bids
  • oversee projects to ensure costs remain in line with forecasts
  • adhere to all risk assessments and health and safety requirements 
  • keep up to date with inflation, exchange rates and projected timescale costs 
  • make visits to proposed construction sites
  • liaise with others including construction managers, planners and design teams. 


You don’t mind…


  • A high ratio of men to women in the sector
  • occasional setbacks with lost bids
  • site visits.


Getting started


Formal educational qualifications are not necessary for a career as an estimator but GCSEs in Science, IT, Technology, English and Maths at grades 9-4 are useful.

A Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or Degree in the following subjects may also aid you:

  • Constructions Management
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Building Surveying
  • Structural Engineering
  • Civil Engineering.


Another popular route into estimating is an apprenticeship with a building or engineering firm.


Work experience is essential to gain experience of managing elements of construction projects. Speculative work experience applications or working as an administrator in a construction company are recommended. 


Search all estimator jobs on our vacancies page.


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