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Estimator Cost engineer

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements but experience as an administrator, craftsperson, technician or surveying assistant in the same industry will be helpful.

You could also join a company training scheme after studying for a relevant HND or degree.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship with a building or engineering firm and work your way up.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent maths and IT skills
  • excellent communication and presentation skills
  • project management skills
  • business skills

3. What you'll do

You'll work out how much it costs to supply products or services to clients.

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

In a larger company you may look after just one area, like labour or materials.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £45,000 to £60,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work between 37 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines.

You'll be office-based with some travel to meet clients.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 12 April 2017