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Home Improvement Estimator: Job Description and Requirements

Learn more about the education and preparation needed to become a home improvement estimator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties, and necessary work experience to find out if this is the career for you.

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Home improvement estimators provide quotes for the anticipated cost of construction work on residential properties. During a construction project they may also have to manage costs. Home improvement estimators are typically required to have a bachelor's degree in construction science or related field and experience working in the construction industry.

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Essential Information

Home improvement estimators specialize in creating price quotes for customers looking to have construction work performed on residential properties. They may also be called upon to manage unexpected costs during a construction project. These positions typically require a bachelor's degree in construction science, as well as work experience in the construction industry.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in construction science
Other Requirements Experience in the construction industry
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% (cost estimators)
Median Salary (2015)* $60,390 annually (cost estimators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties

Estimating costs for a residential construction-project is a multi-step process. Workers start by visiting the job site and recording any germane details, like room dimensions, utility access and more. They then factor in the costs of all the materials their firm must provide, as well as labor, equipment and any other business-related expenses, such as taxes and overhead. At this stage of the process, home improvement estimators also consider any subcontractors their company may require. Upon completion, estimators submit a bid proposal to their firm's owner.

During a construction project, estimators might be used to manage unexpected cost increases and other such emergencies. They also monitor projects to ensure their estimations were accurate. Finally, they assess the effectiveness of the materials, labor and equipment employed in a job to see if costs can be cut in the future.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups home improvement estimators within the larger category of cost estimators, who were expected to see employment growth of 9% during the 2014-2024 decade. Cost estimators earned $60,390 as a median annual salary as of May 2015, the BLS reported.

Requirements

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers in construction management positions typically needed to hold a bachelor's degree. Home improvement estimators can earn a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science, which gives students an education in all aspects of the construction trade. Curricula cover such topics as building engineering, raw materials, finances and management. They often include courses dedicated to cost estimating.

Experience

In addition to a degree, the BLS noted that it's crucial for construction managers, such as home improvement estimators, to possess field experience. While in college, students can intern at a construction company.

Advancement

Home improvement estimators who gain enough work experience might advance to higher managerial or executive positions within their company. They might also set up their own independent contracting organizations.

A career as a home improvement estimator requires a degree in construction science or a related field and experience working in construction. The BLS estimated jobs for home improvement estimators will increase by 9% from 2014-2024, which means that the job prospects for those planning to enter this field are expected to be good.

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