view from the inside

A day in the life of an Estimator

Alex Smith


Alex is part of our estimating team based at our Head Office in the City, helping us win many of our largest projects. Estimating is a very much under-estimated profession, so read on to hear what Alex enjoys about his role, his hidden talent, as well as what he can’t do without every day!

Who or what inspired you to get into construction and in particular estimating?

I used to sell tiles for a living, until a friend who was already in the industry got in touch telling me about a range of paints that his boss was launching and would I be interested in the sales side. For the first few months I was helping out with estimating and surveying and in the end I just sort of fell into estimating, enjoyed it and that’s now been my role for the last 5 years!

Estimating is always challenging, so how do you approach/prepare for each day?

Every day starts with a coffee! Then, while drinking it, I read through my to-do list which I write up at the end of each day, and catch up on any unread emails. Then it’s a case of prioritising the tasks in front of me and getting down to work.

Your role is crucial to our success. Do you find it satisfying when you know you played a part in that success?

Its always satisfying to win a tender. It’s what I am here to do, so when we sign the contract and both us and the client walk away happy, it’s a good feeling.

What would you say has been your career highlight so far?

In my five years, I’ve worked on the Shard, The Emirates Airline, the new (sterling prize winner!) Bloomberg building and the Olympic Park! There are not many industries that give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse at these buildings, before the general public or even the employees who will be working there get to see it! For me the highlight of my job is knowing that I have had some input, no matter how small, on buildings that will be used for years to come.

What was it that attracted you to work with harrisonJorge?

I was aware of harrisonJorge when I worked at my previous company as we used to tender for similar projects. I had always heard good things about them, so the choice was quite easy in the end.

What was your favourite subject at school?

English and Drama, which has obviously come in really useful while reading door schedules and pricing toilet fit-outs!

What advice would you give future employees looking to join us?

We are all on the same team and working together is how we deliver the best results for both the company and the client. There will always be people around for you to turn to for advice at harrisonJorge.


Not many people set out in life to be an estimator, but it can be a rewarding job and it plays a crucial role in securing the company’s future. The estimating team work hard to overcome the unique challenges that each new job presents while continually learning and adding to our combined experience.