Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Linda Byrnes from Bank of Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:


Linda Byrnes

Pensions Administrator

Bank of Ireland

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  Linda Byrnes

Someone considering this job would need to:

  • Be a team player Be able to work on your own initiative
  • Possess good numeric & computer skills
  • Have good organisations skills – due to the immense amount of information to process on a daily basis
  • Be a people person, have effective interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate clearly.

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Occupation Details

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Estimator / Cost Engineer

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€30k > 60 
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€30 - 60 
Related Information:
Senior Estimator: 50 - 60
Estimator: 30 - 50
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Works out how much it will cost for a business to supply product or services to a client.

The Work header image

The work of an Estimator or Cost engineer is to work out how much it costs to supply products or services to a client.

Estimators working for a manufacturing, engineering or construction company for example, produce estimates for a wide range of products or services:

  • Mass-produced goods - such as DVDs or trainers
  • Building and construction projects - such as houses, shopping centres, factories or bridges
  • Landscaping projects
  • Public services - such as underground transport, motorways.

The job involves researching and assessing information from a variety of sources in order to collate and prepare accurate cost estimates.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.


Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.


Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.


Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.


Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.


Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.


Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.


Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.


Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.


Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Documenting/Recording Information:  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information:  Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.


Provide Consultation and Advice to Others:  Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Economics and Accounting:  Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.


Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.


Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Management of Financial Resources:   Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.


Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Estimators need excellent maths skills, strong IT skills, the ability to work with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail and an organised approach to their work.

Good communication and negotiating skills are also valuable.

Entry Routesheader image

Estimators typically move into this area of work after gaining some experience within a particular area of industry in a more hands-on role for example, as a craftsperson, a technician, a landscaper, building trades person or surveying assistant etc.

With a good basic standard of education, such as Leaving Certificate, LCVP, or LCA, combined with experience in a specific sector, it may be possible to become a junior estimator and work your way up.

The alternative option is a college course which covers some of the skills needed for the job, then apply for work afterwards.

Relevant subject areas for further study include:

  • Structural engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction
  • Quantity surveying.


Last Updated: November, 2014

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Teagasc - Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority
  Address: Head Office, Oak Park, Carlow
  Tel: (059) 917 0200
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Organisation: Construction Industry Federation
  Address: Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6
  Tel: (01) 406 6000
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Job Search

Industry Expert

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry & Food
Building, Construction & Property

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