An estimator, otherwise known as a cost engineer, works out how much it will cost for a company to supply products or services to a client. This allows the company to submit bids to win contracts.
You could be:
analysing project plans and specifications
liaising with clients to find out exactly what they are looking for
researching best materials and equipment for the job
obtaining quotes from suppliers for materials required
working out costs for hiring heavy or specialist equipment
calculating labour costs
assessing the level of risk for the project and any associated costs
preparing and submitting bid documents.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salary for a newly trained or assistant estimator in Scotland is around £25,000 to £35,000 a year. With experience this can rise up to around £50,000 a year. Highly experienced estimators can earn £50,000 to £60,000 or even more.
You would usually be based in an office.
You spend time visiting suppliers and clients.
You have to wear protective clothing, including hard hat, safety boots and overalls when visiting sites.
You would normally work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.
You may have to work some evenings and weekends to meet deadlines.
You can get in with a degree (SCQF Levels 9-10), HND (SCQF Level 8) or HNC (SCQF Level 7) in a relevant subject. Subjects include quantity surveying, construction management, civil engineering or building surveying.
Entry requirements vary according to the level of course, but are normally 1-2 Highers for an HNC or HND and 4-5 Highers for a degree.
You could do a Modern Apprenticeship in Construction: Technical and complete the Construction Contracting Operations: Estimating pathway at (SCQF Level 6). You can then gain experience and work your way up.
Experience using AutoCAD software and experience of BIM (Building Information Modeling) is preferred.
You need to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on sites.
A full UK driving licence is useful, and may be necessary.