How to become an Estimator

Customer Support


Thinking about Estimating as a career? We’ve talked about reasons it might be right for you, and the earning potential it has. We’ve talked about how Construction Estimator is now on the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List as the government tries to encourage the teaching of estimating skills to younger generations.

So how can I start down this path?

Many estimators come from a civil engineering background, completing tertiary degrees and moving into the industry that way. Some work their way up with practical experience, and don’t necessarily have formal qualifications.

A Certificate IV in Building Project Support (Estimator) is a great starting option too, one that will let you apply for junior roles to get your foot in the door. Applying for a White Card so you can work on Australian construction sites would also be advisable.

So, where are the jobs?

Start with the job search websites. Seek has a whole section linking to employment opportunities as well as courses at a variety of learning institutions. Indeed has almost a thousand jobs listed for construction estimator in Australia, with over a hundred specifically for civil construction. Jora lists hundreds of civil estimators all over the country, and you can search all of these websites for junior roles.

Anything else I can do to better qualify myself?

Estimators move around a lot, and don’t retire early. Their knowledge and experience builds and builds over the years, so finding yourself a mentor is invaluable. Word of mouth also carries a lot of weight, so if you get the opportunity to work in a team, learn everything you can from your colleagues.

Learning a bespoke estimating software is also extremely useful. While many companies still use Excel, most know the value of licensed software tailored to the industry. Many estimators learn a variety of applications, while some find a favourite and stick to it.

Expert Estimation is the premiere application in Australia and beyond when it comes to first principles. Many estimators enroll in our Online Training to get certificates in Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Expert Estimation (Genesis) courses (non-accredited). Pronamics also offers a free trial for users to familiarize themselves with the software, providing them that edge when they apply for jobs. Some estimating positions even stipulate a required knowledge of Expert Estimation.

Guess I’d better get started then!

Yes indeed! Estimating is a great career that can take you many places, so what are you waiting for? Get to it!

A photo of Glen Townsley

Glen Townsley is the founder of Pronamics, and has spent over 30 years building estimating software after a successful career as a civil estimator and project manager.