Entry-level cost estimators may receive on-the-job training through cooperative educational programs or internships. Intense training courses and seminars, often requiring several days of attendance, may be offered through companies and organizations in the construction and engineering fields. Stand-alone continuing education courses may be available at some college campuses.
Certificate programs in cost estimating are also available through college extension programs designed for professional development. In addition, courses in cost estimating can be found as part of construction engineering technology or construction management associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Topics in coursework will include the following:
- FAR regulations
- Acceptable tools
- Proposal ground rules
List of Courses
Cost Estimating Course
In this introductory course, participants learn to prepare preliminary cost estimates. Instructors teach them to base estimates off of early specifications and design drawings. The course covers estimation techniques for final project bids, such as the cost of labor and pricing material.
Construction Estimating Course
Students learn how to compute costs and identify cost-estimation resources for the construction industry. Participants utilize computer software programs and create construction estimation reports. They become proficient in several areas of the cost-estimation process, including material transportation and handling, carpentry, sewage systems, electrical wiring, water distribution systems, floor systems, floor finishes and foundations.
Engineering Cost Estimating Course
Covering principles of cost estimating in engineering, this class teaches the importance of understanding profit and loss and financial statements. Students also learn how to measure material and labor costs for engineering projects. Upon completion of the course, students should know how to correctly identify the factors that determine the total cost of a project.
Cost Estimating Interior Materials Course
The course gives students knowledge of interior finishes and materials, as well as codes and regulations for residential, commercial and renovation projects. They learn about such interior materials as windows, flooring and cabinetry. Students can expect to learn quantity and cost estimation skills.