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Pool Cost Estimator: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a pool cost estimator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Ever wondered how much a swimming pool costs? Pool cost estimators try to determine this information before the building materials are even on the site. Pool cost estimators draw on a combination of formal education and construction experience to make educated guesses about the costs of building a swimming pool.

Essential Information

Pool cost estimators, or pool contractors, use their skills to project the amount of money necessary to construct a pool. These professionals may estimate pool costs for personal homes, hotels or community centers. Estimators may be required to complete a training program and earn state licensure. Some licenses may require a certain amount of work experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree typically required, although a lower degree matched with construction experience may suffice
Other Requirements Licensure as a contractor is required; Certified Building Professional (CBP) certification is available
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% (for cost estimators)*
Median Salary (2015) $60,390 (for cost estimators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pool Cost Estimator Job Description

A pool contractor estimates the cost of a pool. This individual draws up a contract for each project which details the work that will be done and what materials and equipment will be used to complete it. Along with this description are required scale drawings of the project with dimensions, shape and size of the pool and the specifications of the construction equipment that will be used.

The cost estimation portion of the project involves collecting and analyzing all data that relates to the cost of a project. Pool estimators should be skilled with numbers and have a general idea of construction principles and prices. Contractors should be able to make sound judgments based on their findings and accurately communicate the information to their clients.

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Requirements of a Pool Cost Estimator

Many states require individuals to obtain a contractor's license in order to plan for and build pools. According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, any construction or repair of a swimming pool that costs $500 or more must be performed by a licensed contractor. This work can also be completed by a general building contractor who has focused knowledge in the area of swimming pools. Applicants for licensure are often required to have a background check and a credit check before they are eligible to receive their license.

Most licensure exams require individuals to display four years of experience. However, in some cases candidates can work alongside other more experienced contractors as an apprentice to gain the knowledge needed to pass the examination. Education may also be a valid substitute for the experience requirement. Aspiring pool contractors can learn cost estimation skills through associate or bachelor's degree programs in construction management.

Another way for pool contractors to maximize their potential in the industry is to become a Certified Building Professional (CBP) through the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). The CBP program provides the contractor with more skills and requires them to adhere to high standards in craftsmanship, customer relations and ethics. This certification is not required, but is recommended to give individuals a competitive edge in the trade and make them more credible in the eyes of the consumer.

Career Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), cost estimators of all kinds can expect a 9% increase in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024, exceeding the average when compared to all careers. Additionally, the BLS reported that this group earned a median annual wage of $60,390 in May 2015.

Pool cost estimators must either have a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience. Licensure requirements vary by state, but holding licensure may improve employment opportunities. Due to slightly faster-than-average job growth, cost estimators in general should have good employment prospects through 2024.

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