How To Become A Construction Estimator

Construction Estimator

In the construction sector, the importance of a construction estimator is sometimes overlooked. The role of a construction estimator is as essential as the next profession. So, what do they do? Construction cost estimators are professionals who work to influence the feasibility and success of a project. Their competence includes cost analysis, project management, and comprehending technology tools such as construction estimate software. As these large-scale and complex projects necessitate a wide range of building materials and highly experienced laborers, a construction cost estimator must develop a complete list of everything required to estimate construction costs and forecast projected spending.


What Is A Construction Estimator?

The role of a construction estimator is to calculate the cost of a construction project. However, this statement just touches the surface of an estimator’s responsibilities and influence. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a construction cost estimator thoroughly examines the cost of materials, labor, and other project-related charges.

To generate estimates, they must have a complete awareness of the construction sector and the ability to interpret blueprints and technical papers. Estimators frequently have a business or finance background because they calculate the cost of high-value items and must alter estimates regularly to maintain profitability.

Estimators also play an important part in project planning; they collaborate closely with engineers, architects, and project managers to provide detailed reports that influence a project’s design and execution. This partnership is critical to assuring the project’s feasibility, budget, and timeliness.

An estimator’s job is vital in large-scale civil construction projects such as highways, bridges, and other infrastructure. On these projects, the estimator must consider additional factors such as terrain, potential environmental impact, and large-scale activities, all of which complicate the construction cost estimation process.

A construction estimator is a liaison between a project’s initial concept and its execution.

Key Elements Of A Construction Cost Estimate

Creating a construction cost estimate entails thoroughly examining the construction plan and associated documents.

Direct costs are those that are directly tied to construction activities. These are materials, labor, and equipment. Direct costs comprise the majority of an estimate.

Indirect costs: While not immediately tied to the physical building of a project, they are critical to its success.

Labor hours: This component includes all costs for actual construction labor. It entails calculating wages for the construction team, evaluating the cost of each activity in a project, and planning for probable overtime.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Construction Cost Estimator?

A construction estimator oversees many duties that contribute to the overall success of a building project. They create quantitative pricing evaluations from schematic designs or final construction drawings, reliably estimate project costs, and keep a historical database of estimates. They also build strong working ties with general contractors, working closely throughout the bid process to secure long-term business relationships. This includes:

  • Evaluate engineering drawings and architectural specifications.
  • Evaluate any changes to the design to determine their influence on construction costs.
  • Create a ‘Bill of Quantities’ listing all components required to accomplish a project.
  • Assess relationships with contractors and propose payment amounts.
  • Consult governments and corporations.
  • Before beginning a project, do feasibility studies to establish its value.
  • Creating tax depreciation schedules and monthly cash flow predictions for clients.

Construction Cost Estimator Versus Estimating Assistant

An estimator project manager reviews cost estimates by acquiring data from suppliers and third-party providers. An estimator project manager has strong analytical and critical thinking abilities, particularly in measuring accuracy and reviewing key project KPIs. Estimator project managers study general market pricing of materials and labor costs, estimate production timelines, and adhere to the project timeline while maintaining quality and meeting the client’s criteria. They generate estimated reports and risk assessments to share with the client and project team.

A construction estimator’s tasks are more likely to call for abilities such as “construction management,” “project management,” “customer service,” and “sage.” On the other hand, a job as an estimating assistant necessitates knowledge of “buy orders,” “worksheets,” “subcontractor database,” and “bid bonds.” As you can see, what employees do in different careers differs greatly.

Estimating assistants tend to earn the most money working in the technology industry. A construction cost estimator’s tasks are more likely to call for abilities such as “construction management,” “project management,” “customer service,” and “sage.” On the other hand, a job as an estimating assistant necessitates knowledge of “buy orders,” “worksheets,” “subcontractor database,” and “bid bonds.” Estimating assistants tend to earn the most money working in the technology industry.

Construction Estimator vs. Estimator/Project Coordinator

An estimating manager will handle the estimating department’s day-to-day operations. Your responsibilities normally include developing technical estimating techniques and standards and supervising the project estimator’s work. An estimating manager oversees bids for labor, equipment, and materials from various suppliers. Aside from that, they are responsible for organizing bid inputs from other departments. You are also in charge of reviewing and evaluating the performance of junior and senior estimators.

What Skills Do Estimators Need?

Communication skills

The lower the cost, the better the bid, making cultivating excellent connections with vendors, subcontractors, suppliers, and others critical.

You should also have strong working ties with your teammates. Cost estimators rely on the expertise of cost engineers and other speciality professionals to provide the most accurate estimate.

Every day, a construction cost estimator builds and maintains relationships. They communicate with co-workers about their progress and issues and then transfer that information to project managers and clients.

Maths Skills

Construction cost¬†estimator is a finance position. Finance jobs necessitate math. While you don’t have to be a mathematician, you must use sophisticated formulas.


The main purpose of this article was to provide you insight on the role of a construction cost estimator. The above information not only lists their key responsibilities but also what you require to become one. Cost Estimation is a strong field with massive benefits. 


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