Be a Home Remodeling Estimator: Career Information and Requirements

Learn how to become a home remodeling estimator. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career as a home remodeling estimator. View article »

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Should I Become a Home Remodeling Estimator?

Home remodeling estimators consider materials, labor and transportation costs in order to provide customers with an estimated price. Job responsibilities include working with blueprints and building plans. Home remodeling estimators assess various factors that can affect the completion of a remodeling-construction project, including weather conditions and late arrival of building materials.

Overtime work for estimators might be required to meet deadlines. These professionals work full-time outdoors and in offices, making bids and completing paperwork. They may be required to travel frequently.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the mean annual wage for cost estimators was $64,810 in May 2015.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Construction management; building science
Certification Voluntary; may enhance career prospects
Key Skills Critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, analytical, time-management, writing, and technical skills; ability to handle details; industry specific software
Salary $64,810 (2015 mean for cost estimators)

Sources: O*NET Online, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerOneStop

To become a cost estimator, you need a bachelor's degree in construction management or building science. Voluntary certification may enhance career prospects. You'll also need critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, decision making, time-management, writing, technical and analytical skills, along with the ability to handle details and knowledge of industry-specific software.

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Steps to Become a Home Remodeling Estimator

Let's take a look at the steps you'll need to take to become a home remodeling estimator.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

According to the BLS, employers may favor candidates who have completed an undergraduate degree in construction management, engineering or building science. These 4-year programs typically focus on both technical and administrative aspects of the construction business. Students take courses in construction accounting, estimating and equipment management.

Success Tip

Complete an internship. Some degree programs may offer a senior project or internship experience. Internships provide you with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with estimation or project management.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

You may begin estimating labor and materials costs under the supervision of an experienced estimator. As you progress, you may take on more challenging roles, such performing product cost-benefit analysis and consulting with engineers on specification changes. Other duties may include creating expenditure statements and negotiating contract terms with vendors.

Step 3: Attain Certification

Although certification may not be required, the BLS stated that some employers may prefer candidates who are professionally certified. Several organizations, such as the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) and the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE), certify candidates based on work experience, technical writing skills and successful completion of a certification examination. Recertification generally includes completing approved continuing education courses, publishing papers, reviewing technical reports, attending seminars or completing a recertification exam.

To become a cost estimator, you need to obtain a bachelor's degree, gain work experience and consider certification.

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