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Construction Estimator: Certification & Degree

A career as a construction estimator may be a good choice for individuals interested in assisting organizations with project management. Read on to learn about the job duties and educational requirements for construction estimators.

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Career Definition of Construction Estimators

Construction estimators specialize in evaluating various projects, analyzing data such as financial information, and selecting appropriate projects that fit within the scope of an organization's goals. These estimators then create a proposal of what their organization will charge to complete a project and submit their bid to customers. After submission, a construction estimator is also responsible for setting a project budget and collaborating with the project manager to ensure it is successfully executed. Construction estimators typically work for construction services firms, such as hazardous materials remediation companies.

Job duties for construction estimators may include understanding needs specific to projects and the ability to allocate costs to them, evaluating technical project drawings to guarantee all work is covered under a cost estimate, and creating and maintaining relationships with vendors to obtain pricing information they will utilize in their cost estimates. Construction estimators will also need to foster relationships with clients and colleagues associated with each project.

These estimators will create cost estimates by utilizing statistical data, such as material price lists, labor costs, and quantity take-offs, and factoring these items into the overall cost of a project. Construction estimators may assist the project managers with tracking project expenses to ensure it is within the allocated budget. These estimators can serve an essential role in fostering new sales leads via current and potential customers. They should also have a strong understanding of the process of working with skilled personnel that are part of a union.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Excellent analytical abilities, strong communication skills, effective organizational abilities, and superior attention to detail
Median Salary (2017)* $57,012
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 11% (Cost Estimators)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in engineering or construction management to work as a construction estimator. A strong background in multiple project management will be beneficial. Interested individuals can seek membership in an industry organization like the American Society of Professional Estimators. The organization offers commercial, residential, and civil construction estimators training and professional development opportunities.

Required Skills

Excellent analytical abilities are one of the most essential assets for construction estimators, as they are responsible for evaluating potential projects, including financial information. Construction estimators should have strong communication skills in order to collaborate with project manager and interact with clients. They should also have effective organizational skills and superior attention to detail in order to successfully manage multiple projects.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect statistics on construction estimators; however, they reported an 11% growth for cost estimators during 2016-2026. This job growth is faster than average for all occupations. In December 2017, PayScale reported a median annual salary of $57,012 for construction estimators.

Related Careers

Individuals considering a career as a construction estimator might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. They offer candidates the opportunity to utilize their skills in other trade positions.

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