Working as an estimator or planner in the construction industry in the UK can be an exciting and rewarding career path. Here are some key things to know:
An estimator is responsible for estimating the cost of a construction project.
They review project plans and specifications, conduct site visits, and communicate with subcontractors and suppliers to obtain pricing for materials and labor.
They use this information to prepare accurate and competitive bids for projects.
Estimators must have a strong understanding of construction methods, materials, and regulations, as well as excellent math and communication skills.
They may work for a construction company or as an independent contractor.
A planner, on the other hand, is responsible for developing and managing construction schedules.
They work with project managers, architects, and subcontractors to create realistic timelines for projects, and then monitor progress to ensure that deadlines are met.
They must have a strong understanding of construction methods and project management principles, as well as excellent organizational and communication skills.
Planners may work for a construction company or as a consultant.
Both roles are important in the construction industry and often work closely together to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget. The demand for both estimators and planners in the UK construction industry is high, and there are a variety of job opportunities available, ranging from entry-level positions to more senior roles. Salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and employer, but generally range from around £20,000 to £60,000 or more per year.
What kind of person would suit a job as an Estimator:
A person who would be well-suited for a job as an estimator or planner in the construction industry in the UK would likely have a combination of the following qualities:
Strong analytical and mathematical skills:Estimators and planners need to be able to analyse large amounts of data and make accurate calculations in order to provide accurate estimates and schedules.
Attention to detail:The ability to pay close attention to details is crucial in these roles, as even small errors in estimates or schedules can have a significant impact on a construction project.
Good communication skills:Both estimators and planners need to communicate effectively with project managers, subcontractors, and other stakeholders in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that projects are completed on time and within budget.
Knowledge of construction methods and materials:A strong understanding of construction methods and materials is essential in order to be able to accurately estimate costs and develop realistic schedules.
Strong organisational skills:Estimators and planners need to be able to manage large amounts of information and keep track of multiple projects at once, so strong organizational skills are essential.
Problem-solving skills:unexpected challenges can arise during construction projects, and estimators and planners need to be able to quickly identify and solve problems in order to keep projects on track.
Flexibility:Construction projects can be unpredictable, so the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and adjust schedules and estimates accordingly is important.
In addition to these qualities, a degree or diploma in a relevant field (such as construction management or civil engineering) is typically required for these roles, along with several years of experience in the construction industry.
Do we see much of a demand for these kinds of jobs in the UK?
There is a strong demand for estimators and planners in the UK construction industry. The UK government has made significant investments in infrastructure, such as transport, housing, and energy, which has led to a surge in construction activity. This has created a high demand for skilled professionals, including estimators and planners, who can help ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
According to job market data, there has been a steady increase in demand for these roles over the past several years, with many job opportunities available across the UK. The demand is particularly high in major cities, such as London and Manchester, where there is a high volume of construction activity.
In addition, there is a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, which has led to a highly competitive job market and increased salaries for those with the right skills and experience. This means that there are good opportunities for those looking to enter or progress in this field.
Overall, the demand for estimators and planners in the UK construction industry is expected to remain strong in the coming years, making it a good career path for those interested in the industry.
Are there professional bodies I can join for these roles?
There are several professional bodies in the UK that estimators and planners can join to enhance their skills and qualifications and demonstrate their commitment to the profession. These bodies offer a range of benefits, including access to training and development opportunities, networking events, and professional recognition.
Here are some of the main professional bodies for estimators and planners in the UK:
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS):RICS is a global professional body that promotes and enforces the highest international standards in the valuation, management, and development of land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure. RICS offers a range of training, qualification, and accreditation options for estimators and planners, including a professional accreditation in project management.
Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB):CIOB is the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. CIOB offers a range of qualifications, training, and events for estimators and planners, as well as access to its extensive network of industry professionals.
Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE):ICE is a professional membership body that represents civil engineers and technicians in the UK and around the world. ICE offers a range of qualifications, training, and events for estimators and planners, as well as access to its extensive network of industry professionals.
Association for Project Management (APM):APM is a professional body for project management, offering a range of qualifications, training, and events for estimators and planners. APM is the chartered body for the project profession in the UK and provides access to a community of project professionals and research and insights into the latest trends in the industry.
Joining a professional body can help demonstrate your commitment to the profession, enhance your skills and qualifications, and improve your career prospects.
How can I get into a career like this?
To get into a career as an estimator or planner in the construction industry in the UK, you will typically need a combination of education, relevant work experience, and a range of skills and personal qualities.
Here are some steps you can take to pursue a career in this field:
Education:Many employers require a degree or diploma in a relevant field, such as construction management, civil engineering, or quantity surveying. Consider pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or diploma in one of these fields.
Gain relevant work experience:Most employers require candidates to have relevant work experience in the construction industry, so consider seeking entry-level positions in the industry, such as an assistant estimator or assistant planner. This will provide you with valuable experience and an opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required for these roles.
Develop relevant skills:As mentioned earlier, estimators and planners require a range of skills, including analytical and mathematical skills, attention to detail, communication skills, knowledge of construction methods and materials, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, and flexibility. Consider seeking opportunities to develop these skills, such as through work experience, training, or volunteering.
Network:Building a strong professional network can help you learn about job opportunities and connect with industry professionals who can offer advice and support. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals in the industry through LinkedIn or other networking platforms.
Consider professional qualifications:As mentioned earlier, joining a professional body and gaining professional qualifications can enhance your skills and qualifications, demonstrate your commitment to the profession, and improve your career prospects.
Overall, getting into a career as an estimator or planner in the construction industry requires a combination of education, relevant work experience, and a range of skills and personal qualities. By taking the steps outlined above, you can build a strong foundation for a successful career in this field.
What are salaries like for these kinds of roles
Salaries for estimators and planners in the UK construction industry can vary depending on a range of factors, including the level of experience, qualifications, location, and the size and complexity of the projects they work on.
According to job market data, the average salary for an estimator in the UK is around £32,000 to £55,000 per year. The starting salary for an entry-level estimator may be around £20,000 to £25,000, rising to around £35,000 to £45,000 for an experienced estimator. Senior estimators can earn more than £55,000 per year.
The average salary for a planner in the UK is around £30,000 to £50,000 per year. An entry-level planner may earn around £20,000 to £25,000, while an experienced planner can earn around £35,000 to £45,000. Senior planners can earn more than £50,000 per year.
Salaries can vary depending on the region, with salaries typically higher in major cities such as London, Manchester, and Birmingham. In addition, working on larger, more complex projects can command a higher salary.
It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and salaries can vary depending on a range of factors. Nonetheless, the construction industry is known for providing good salaries and opportunities for career growth, making it a popular career choice for many people.