Share this job with family or a friend

Job description for DE&S/SDA Cost Estimator

The Project Delivery function tracks and delivers some of the most complex and exciting projects in UK defence, offering fantastic variety with the support to shape and grow your career. With Project Controls and Project Management specialists working arm-in-arm, together our teams deliver fast-paced, cutting-edge projects – from the newest armoured vehicles to ground-breaking future aviation technologies – while ensuring critical core programmes keep moving forward, too.

We’re an Association for Project Management accredited organisation, and as part of our team you’ll benefit from plenty of opportunities for development, on-going training, access to funded professional qualifications, and a c.27% employer pension contribution. You’ll also have access to a wide range of employee networks, including the Women’s Inclusive Network, Race & Culture Network, Pride Network, Disability Network – and many more. We recognise that the best people for the job may have commitments outside of work, so we’re pleased to promote flexible working to support our colleagues in balancing work and home life.

Are you a Cost Estimator looking for a new and exciting opportunity within Defence? Do you want a role working on complex and interesting projects with ample opportunity for career progression? If so, this could be the perfect position for you!

The Project Delivery function within DE&S and SDA are currently seeking dynamic Estimators to join multiple teams across the business.

Estimating is a vital part of what we do, ensuring the delivery of significant projects to our customers, on budget and on time. You will act as estimating or cost modelling lead for medium to higher value or complexity projects, supporting business case development and investment decisions, options appraisal, and contribute to regular reviews of programme costs. You will also act as an Estimating Subject Matter Expert (SME) providing guidance to projects and support services.

You will be involved in projects across a variety of exciting areas supporting programmes that include next generation aircraft, combat and support vehicles, submarines, complex weapons, artillery systems, ships, digital, cyber and space.

You will be provided with opportunities that support a varied and diverse career including proactive involvement in multiple projects and continued professional development.

Please note some attendance to the stated site may be required for this position.

We strongly recommend tailoring your CV in line with our CV guidance before applying, with specific sections to highlight Key Achievements, Relevant Experience, and Applied Skills & Knowledge.

Responsibilities for DE&S/SDA Cost Estimator

The responsibilities of this post will include, but not be limited to, the following:
• Leading delivering and assuring estimating products for high value projects utilising a range of estimating tools, techniques and methodologies
• Independently deliver complex cost estimates using a range of mandated Cost Models
• Identify cost trends and insight at strategic level to support portfolio management activities, business change initiatives, and provide senior staff with intelligence and analysis to support decision making
• Analyse data from sources across Defence international partners and it’s suppliers to support bench-marking and production of robust complex cost models
• Train and develop team members in estimating to aid cost estimating understanding amongst stakeholders
• Assist with the scoping of model requirements and provide SME modelling expertise including establishment and maintenance of relationships across stakeholder groups
• Communicate estimate and complex risk modelling data to key members of the project, programme and DE&S leadership in a way that is easy to interpret and understand
• Influence Leadership within Project, DE&S and Supply chain within the estimating technical field

What you will be assessed against

To be successful with your application you must demonstrate that you meet the following essential criteria:
• Experience generating complex estimates for projects
• Experience generating supporting documentation and artefacts such as the ‘Basis of Estimate’
• Experience of assuring/ensuring quality of outputs
• Knowledge of analysis tools and techniques such as MS Office including Excel

It will also benefit your application if you are able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:
• An understanding of Risk Management, Cost Control and Planning
• An understanding of Scheduling
• Currently hold or able to obtain APM or equivalent certification with a keen interest in possessing certified membership within ICEAA Knowledge of Defence or related sectors

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competencies and behaviours will be assessed at interview:
• Estimating
• Controlling a Project
• Communicating and influencing
• Changing and improving

What’s in it for you?

Please note, our salary bands are under review and may increase. If the outcome of the review results in an increase in the minimum salary and your salary offer falls below the new minimum, your salary will be increased to the new amount from your contracted start date. If the new minimum is less than the salary you are offered, the original salary offer will be retained.

Our careers offer stability, training, progression – and much more! Discover more about what our organisations offer in the DE&S Little Book of Big Benefits and the SDA Benefits. Find out more about our pension schemes.

We’re exploring future ways of working with a flexible and a family-friendly approach in mind. This means that successful candidates may be offered the option of hybrid working, combining working at home with working at their contractual location. Further information relevant to hybrid working will be discussed with you prior to you taking up your post, to find a balance that suits your needs and those of the organisation. Please note that employees are responsible for meeting the cost of their travel to and from work when attending site.

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and are dedicated to creating a great place to work that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. To help us do this, we particularly encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and people from LGBT communities. By bringing together different ideas, experiences and perspectives, we can achieve our ambitions, together.

Please click the link below to apply by creating an account and upload your details.

Orange logo of a graph and clock

Job Details

Job title

DE&S/SDA Cost Estimator


£36,550 – £43,000 per annum (plus benefits)

Contract type


Business area

MOD – Defence Equipment & Support and Submarine Delivery Agency – Project Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Fiona Edwards

[email protected]

Logo for disability confident leader

Join DE&S – the force behind the armed forces

Useful links

Woman smiling at the camera
Who we are
young man in white shirt with blue tie laughs while being interviewed
What we do
A woman in a purple dress laughs in an office - start a career in the civil service
A young blonde man in a suit with a stripey tie
The process
A naval officer interviews a young man in a blue shirt
A man in a blue checkered shirt leans back in a chair smiling
How to write a good CV
A young woman with dark brown hair and a striped top smiles at the camera as she is interviewed
Interview hints and tips

Our DE&S Behaviours

DE&S working as one team

One team

Read more
An orange logo showing cupped hands saying "support one another"


Read more
A yellow logo showing people shaking hands


Read more
Red logo showing an upward trending graph

Getting better

Read more
Blue logo showing a delivery list


Read more