Construction Estimator

Last Updated:
May 1, 2023

Job Description Overview

Are you interested in a Construction Estimator job description? As a Construction Estimator, you'll be responsible for estimating the cost of construction projects. You'll determine the costs of materials, labor, and other expenses to come up with an accurate estimate for the project's budget.

Construction Estimators utilize specialized software that takes into account a variety of factors such as location, labor rates, and materials costs to produce comprehensive cost estimates. You'll help contractors and project managers decide how to allocate their resources based on your estimates.

You'll need a strong understanding of construction materials, techniques, and labor costs to be successful in this role. Additionally, good communication and negotiation skills are key, as you'll work alongside teams of architects, engineers, and other construction professionals.

If you are detail-oriented, analytical, and excel at multi-tasking, the Construction Estimator job description may be a great fit for you!

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Analyzing blueprints and specifications to determine materials and labor costs 
  • Gathering quotes and prices from vendors and contractors 
  • Preparing estimates and bids for construction projects 
  • Communicating with clients and architects to understand project requirements 
  • Ensuring estimates meet project deadlines and budget constraints 
  • Reviewing project plans and specifications for accuracy and completeness 
  • Identifying potential risks and opportunities for cost savings 
  • Participating in project meetings and negotiations 
  • Maintaining accurate records of estimates, costs, and project changes 
  • Staying current with industry trends and changes in building codes and regulations

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a good construction estimator, you need to have a mix of education and experience. Usually, a high school diploma or GED is required, but having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field can help set you apart. It’s also important to have solid math skills and familiarity with computer software. Experience-wise, a lot of companies are looking for candidates who have worked in construction before, especially in some kind of estimating or project management role. You’ll also need to have an eye for detail, the ability to read blueprints and plans, and good communication skills since you’ll be working with a lot of different people on a daily basis.

Salary Range

The expected salary range for a Construction Estimator in the United States is between $47,000 and $96,000 annually, with a median annual salary of $65,000. However, factors such as location, experience, and education can affect the salary range. For example, Construction Estimators in California, New York, and Massachusetts typically earn higher salaries than those in other states. Moreover, Construction Estimators with a Bachelor's degree or more years of experience can earn salaries towards the higher end of the range.

In Canada, the expected salary range for a Construction Estimator ranges from C$45,000 to C$102,000 annually, with a median annual salary of C$67,000.



Career Outlook

The career outlook for Construction Estimators over the next five years is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for construction estimators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. With an increasing demand for buildings and infrastructure, the construction industry is expected to continue to grow.

Moreover, construction estimators are essential to the success of a project by accurately estimating costs and maximizing profitability. As technology continues to advance, construction estimators also need to stay up to date with software and tools, proposing a need for skilled and adaptable professionals in this field.

In conclusion, with a promising job outlook and the need for expertise in cost estimation, pursuing a career as a Construction Estimator in the construction industry is a wise choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a construction estimator do?

A: A construction estimator examines project plans and specifications to determine the quantity, types of materials, labor, and equipment needed to complete a construction project. They then prepare detailed estimates of the costs associated with the project.

Q: What kind of skills are required to be a construction estimator?

A: Strong math skills, attention to detail, the ability to read and interpret construction plans, good communication skills, and knowledge of construction costs and practices are all essential for a construction estimator.

Q: What are the educational requirements for becoming a construction estimator?

A: Typically, construction estimators have a bachelor's degree in construction management, engineering, or a related field. Some employers may also accept candidates with a combination of technical education and work experience.

Q: What software programs do construction estimators use?

A: Construction estimators use a variety of software programs to prepare detailed estimates, including spreadsheets, construction-specific software such as Bluebeam or PlanGrid, and specialized estimating software such as Sage Estimating or ProEst.

Q: What is a construction estimator's role in the bidding process?

A: Construction estimators play a key role in the bidding process. They prepare estimates for a construction project that will help determine the overall cost of the project. Their estimates are used by contractors to submit bids for the project. The estimator may also participate in negotiations and work to secure the job for their company.

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