How to Become a Construction Estimator in 5 Easy Steps

The construction industry is rising and is expected to touch $8 trillion by 2030.

During the post-pandemic period, the industry is rising back on its feet and is expected to do great globally.

But because of the different aspects and multiple people involved, a construction process faces a lot of wastage, issues in the supply chain, and capital issues that need to be resolved.

That’s where a construction estimator comes into the picture. The job of a construction estimator involves a lot of responsibilities that ensure the smooth and flawless functioning of the construction process.

But how to become a construction estimator?

What skills, roles, responsibilities, and challenges are involved in becoming a construction estimator?

We’ll discuss it all. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Who is a Construction Estimator?

A construction estimator prepares the estimates of the overall construction project with precision based on the set budget, drawings, requirements, and different market trends.

The estimates include resources, fees, and other contractors’ general conditions.

Construction estimator professionals have the knowledge and the expertise in analytics and mathematical skills. They must have great communication skills and need to work hand-in-hand with the architects, vendors, engineers, and different skilled employees and professionals.

A constructor estimator must have a keen eye for different project details that can assist them in creating accurate estimates. They can predict the project’s cost for both company and client and point out the financial risks and an approximate estimate.

But their abilities are not limited to calculating the workforce, time, and material; they also need to present detailed reports in a simplified and convincing manner so that the decision-makers involved in the project can get a detailed understanding of the construction project.

The construction cost estimator has decent data analysis and statistical interpretation skills that can help them provide suggestions and implement different cost-cutting techniques in the construction project.

What Does a Construction Estimator do?

Construction estimators consider different project aspects like cost, size, material, and deadlines to ensure that the precise cost estimation can help the client make future decisions.

They help the construction company understand their expenses and deliver tailored results to avoid business losses during the project execution.

The professional estimators have to set up a cost reporting and monitoring process that can assist them in achieving the desired targets with finesse.

A construction estimator’s profile is crowded with duties like advising on the construction project, negotiating with suppliers and clients and evaluating the tenders that can help the construction company quote a precise estimate.

The contribution and the value delivered by the construction estimator to the company are immense, and that’s why they are paid a decent salary to manage the responsible tasks.

The construction estimator works with architects, subcontractors, engineers, clients, and other contractors to analyze and predict accurate estimates.

They also ensure that the financial transactions and construction work executes according to the plan. 

But based on their responsibilities, there are broadly three types of estimators in the industry that you can hire.

  • Client’s cost estimator

    The process of calculating the estimates is similar for different construction project estimators, but the roles and responsibilities can be divided into the following categories.

    The estimator’s role is vital from the beginning of the construction project discussions. The contractor’s cost estimator focuses on creating estimates that meet clients’ expectations, control the budget, and negotiate costs.

    The contractor’s cost estimator usually manages smaller work like building a house or block. They help finalize the contract and ensure that the project is within the budget and can be completed delivering the best construction quality.

    They are responsible for managing the nitty-gritty client requests that can help the construction company deliver a professional and excellent customer experience.

  • Engineer’s cost estimator

    The engineer’s cost estimator is used when you want to manage the project from the location to logistics. The estimator drafts the blueprint for the project and offers an alternative construction method to complete the project.

    They can be used as a replacement for professional engineers whose structural or civil engineering doesn’t go well based on the plan. 

  • Contractor’s cost estimator

    The contractor’s cost estimator is focused on managing the estimation work and is assigned to drive profit for the company. The cost estimation must be professional, accurate, and competitive, which can help the company scale its business operations. 

    The contractor’s cost estimator focuses on managing the project deadlines while managing the profits.

    They analyze the resources and work like materials, on-ground employees, and machinery required to complete the construction process. The estimator also bids for the work that can help the construction business attract new clients.

    Once you understand the different types of estimators required for a specific construction job, now you must understand how to become a construction estimator.

5 Steps to Become a Construction Estimator

A construction estimator’s job focuses on offering the right cost of the construction project and has a good understanding of different pricing rates related to the construction.

Having the essential experience and proper education is also essential for the individual. Let’s understand how to become a construction estimator in the construction industry by following a few simple steps.

1. Focus on Learning

Construction employment firms prefer many construction estimators with bachelor’s degrees in quantity surveying, civil engineering, or construction management.

Becoming a professional construction estimator requires training in mathematics, construction law, building codes, and construction materials and methods.

A construction estimator aspirant can also take training from a professional construction worker to acquire practical expertise in the industry.

2. Apply for Apprentice or Internship

A constructor estimator can convert the theoretical learnings from educational institutions into quality practical leaning by enrolling in different internship programs and apprenticeships.

It can help the experts get paid to handle their expenses and hone their knowledge to achieve new heights in their construction estimator career paths. The experience can help the individual understand the duties and role of a construction estimator and how to handle different situations while managing the job.

3. Required certifications

Certificates are proof of the abilities of the estimator. You don’t want to hire a professional construction worker that doesn’t have the proof of the skills and hasn’t received a certification in the construction estimation field.

The individual can apply to The American Society of Professional Estimators to avail of the certificates of professional estimator designations. The certification program has some criteria that the applicant needs to fulfill.

  • A minimum of 5 years of entry-level or professional job experience as the estimator.
  • Quality technical writing and communication skills
  • Added different workshops and completions.
  • Pass a well-vetted exam to avail of the certifications.

 Multiple platforms and institutions can be used to avail the estimator certification as it depends on the requirement and the personal choice of the applicant.

Other options are The Association of Advancement of Cost Engineering and the Society of Cost Estimating & Analysis. Both the institutions have specific requirements like a minimum job experience and exam clearance conducted by the institutions, among other criteria.

4. Increase skill sets

 A master’s degree or increased job experience can boost the skill sets and assist the construction estimator and a professional job with a higher pay scale. 

You also want to hire a professional with an enhanced skill set that can minimize the complexities of the management process and deliver the desired results.

Improving the skills can help the estimators strengthen their industry presence and unlock higher career potential.

5. Start a construction estimation service business (Optional)

The optional choice of a professional construction estimator is to start a professional service business that can assist different construction companies in streamlining their operations.

The services can range from those managed by a professional construction estimator and be delivered at reasonable prices.

These are the detailed steps on how to become a construction estimator and deliver quality service in the industry.

Skills Need to Become Construction Estimator

Becoming a professional construction estimator means the individual can get a decent paycheck compared to other positions in a construction company.

But they require specific skills to attain the desired pay scale.

Let’s focus on a few skills required for becoming a quality construction estimator:

  • A complete understanding of the labor and material cost can help in accurate estimations.
  • Undergraduate, high school or other bachelor’s degrees can help the estimator get an entry-level position in the industry.
  • In-depth knowledge about the pre-contract cost for proper analysis and result deliverability.
  • Professional analytical skills that ease analyzing different data points and filter out a pitch-perfect solution.
  • Understanding about working with contractors and suppliers can help to maintain a smooth construction business workflow.
  • High focus on considering different details about the project and delivering quality results.
  • Expertise in interpreting schematic drawings.
  • Knowledge in delivering estimates for different projects.
  • Aware of the importance of time/deadline management skills.
  • Computer drafting and design knowledge.
  • Good communication skills.

These skills are important for a construction estimator because they can help them handle any construction projects with finesse. 

But the skills need to align with the roles and responsibilities of the constructor estimator to accomplish the desired results and professionally manage the construction sites.

Have a look at the duties of the construction estimator.

  • The estimator needs to collate the vital documents required to calculate how much construction projects can cost. 
  • They must overview the construction management and study the layout and documents based on the client’s requirements.
  • They sort out the possible construction materials, human resources, machinery, and other protective equipment vendors.
  • The estimator should maintain a directory for the construction methods, cost engineering, supplying materials, equipment, contractors, and detailed cost proposals.
  • Collect estimated costs from multiple vendors and negotiate and filter out one.
  • The construction professionals should focus on preparing the project and accurate time for completing the project.
  • The experienced construction estimator must draft project proposals for material, labor, and machinery costs.
  • Schedule a meeting with the client and showcase the construction cost estimating and analysis results.
  • Handle the tendering process.
  • Discuss with architects, contractors, owners, and other subcontractors for cost monitoring proposals.
  • Preparing construction site progress and estimate costs reports.

Many construction estimators require training and assistance to understand the essence of your construction business operations. You can assign specific tasks to the individual managing the construction estimator’s jobs.

Once you find the right construction estimator, you can scale your business and attract new clients for your construction firm.

But with the rise in clientele, you must integrate a professional project management software that can help you handle different construction tasks with finesse. 

Out of hundreds of software available in the industry, it can be overwhelming to filter out one for your business.

But our team has filtered one of the best field service management software for your construction business.

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Yes. The construction estimator requires professional skills that enable them to attract higher packages and deliver quality results in the construction industry.
A construction estimator needs to be good with estimation software, people skills, analysis, and other vital components that can improve the construction business estimation and project management operations.
A field service management software can remove the complexities from your construction business and help you get a bird’s-eye view of the project workflow.

FieldCamp Can Assist With Your Construction Business Management

FieldCamp is a leading field service management software that can help you streamline your field service operations and ensure that you remove the complexities of the process. You get centralized control of your operations and manage your resource with finesse.

You can minimize your construction business expenses and can scale your business operations. 

You can create quick invoices that can help you deliver a quality customer experience that can help you boost your brand image.

The software offers a professional interface that helps it stand out from other leading field service software. You can create well-vetted performance field service reports that can help you boost your analytics results.

Avail of the to transform your construction estimator.

Author Bio

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs.