Menu Close

How Long Does It Take to Become a Construction Estimator?

Construction estimators are responsible for researching and determining the total cost of a construction project. Typically, they have backgrounds in fields like engineering or architecture. They also have experience in preparing in-depth proposals.

They need to have a good understanding of the risks associated with a project. There are several ways to become a construction estimator including getting a certificate, gaining on-the-job training, or even a combination of both.

Education Requirements

A construction estimator is responsible for calculating the total cost of a project. They prepare estimates from contract bids, quotations and drawings for civil engineering, architectural and structural projects. They also prepare tendering procedures and conduct negotiations. In addition, they work with architects, engineers, electrical, mechanical and trade contractors. Construction estimators can also be self-employed and provide their services on a contract basis.

In order to become a construction estimator, you need to have the right education. While on-the-job training is possible, many companies prefer a college degree. A bachelor’s degree in construction management or a related field is ideal, but you can also choose a degree in structural or civil engineering. You should also look for a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

You can start your career with a high school diploma, but you will need additional training to become a certified construction estimator. There are several certificate programs available online, and most of them take three months to complete. These courses cover topics such as essential construction math, blueprint reading and estimating and bidding. Some programs even offer live instructors, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions and get immediate feedback.

It is important to learn how to read blueprints and understand the project’s scope of work. You will also need to familiarize yourself with the construction materials, which may affect the overall estimate. Having good communication skills is also critical, since you will be working closely with architects, builders and construction managers.

Another requirement is a computer and the right software to perform your job. There are numerous software programs that can help you with the estimating process. Some of these include spreadsheets and simulation tools. Spreadsheets are the most popular and widely used in the industry, but there are also other software options that you can consider.

You will need to find a job in the construction industry, and you may have to take a low-level position to gain experience. You can then advance into a senior level position as an estimator, but this is not guaranteed.

Training Requirements

Construction estimators must understand how a project’s scope impacts its budget and scheduling. They work closely with architects and engineers to prepare and present estimates that are accurate and realistic. The primary qualifications for becoming a construction estimator include a bachelor’s degree in engineering or civil engineering, along with extensive on-the-job training. The job requires analytical and critical-thinking skills, as well as the ability to meet tight deadlines.

Depending on the type of estimating you want to do, you may need to complete an internship or obtain a graduate certificate in engineering or construction management. You will also need to have excellent math and computer skills, as well as an understanding of construction techniques. Many colleges offer programs specifically in construction estimating, so it’s important to check with your local college to find the right one for you.

The best way to become a construction estimator is to enroll in an apprenticeship program with a construction firm. These programs will teach you the fundamentals of calculating construction costs, and also help you develop your skills in reading architectural plans and writing comprehensive reports. They will also introduce you to industry-specific software. Some of these programs can last up to a few years, and will provide you with invaluable experience in the field.

If you’re looking to hire a construction estimator, it’s important to create an attractive job posting that highlights your company’s benefits and work environment. This will help you attract qualified candidates and increase the chances of finding a suitable match. Be sure to include a clear description of the job duties and responsibilities, as well as your company’s competitive salary and benefits package.

Once you’ve found a candidate that matches your qualifications and is a good fit for your business, it’s time to begin training them. Give your new-hire a chance to shadow your experienced team members, and make sure that they understand the company’s policies and procedures. This is also a great opportunity to see how your candidate interacts with other employees, as this can be a major indicator of their work ethic and character.

Job Duties

A construction estimator is responsible for calculating and preparing cost estimates for a wide range of building and engineering projects. These include new build, refurbishment and maintenance work. They also have to keep detailed records and prepare reports. They can also be involved in determining the tendering process for construction projects. They may work for civil, electrical and mechanical construction contractors, or on a self-employed basis.

To calculate the cost of a project, an estimator will first validate a document called the ‘Scope of Work’. This will provide them with a detailed breakdown of the entire project and lay out all of the work that needs to be carried out. Then, they will start to source materials and labour costs for each section of the project. This will involve looking at the project size, deadline, and any other important factors. Then, they will compile a list of all the estimated costs and submit them to their employer or client.

Another aspect of this job is keeping up with changes in the market, as rates for labor and equipment are constantly changing. This is why an estimator needs to be able to make accurate predictions of future market scenarios in order to prepare the best estimate possible. It is also important for an estimator to be able to work within fixed budgets and schedules. Otherwise, they will be putting themselves at risk of making inaccurate estimates and potentially damaging their reputation and working relationships with clients.

This career path requires a lot of dedication and hard work, but it is also a very rewarding one. Whether you choose to go through university or college, an apprenticeship or self-study via an online course, it is worth taking the time to learn the right skills to succeed. This will help you become a more confident and competent estimator, which will ultimately give you the edge over your competitors when it comes to getting the job. Then, it is just a matter of finding the best opportunities that suit your qualifications and strengths, and starting out on the path to becoming a successful construction estimator.


Construction estimators are often hired by construction companies, architects, engineers and industrialists to estimate the cost of different kinds of construction projects. They are responsible for calculating the price of raw materials, labor and equipment needed to build a structure. They also monitor costs to make sure that the finished product doesn’t exceed budget. In order to prepare and deliver accurate estimates, they must be able to read blueprints and understand how the design of a structure impacts material costs.

Many estimators hold a bachelor’s degree in fields such as construction management or business administration. Some also have a background in engineering or the physical sciences. Others take an internship as part of their training, which allows them to gain on-the-job experience and learn about the industry from experienced professionals. They must be familiar with estimating software, such as computer-aided design programs, spreadsheets and other software used in the field.

Becoming a construction estimator takes a lot of dedication and hard work. However, the pay is well worth the effort, with junior estimators earning $26 an hour on average and senior estimators making up to $47 per hour. In addition, many construction estimators receive a bonus for successfully meeting their estimated cost targets.

In addition to their technical skills, construction estimators must have good communication abilities. They work closely with clients and other construction managers to ensure that all parties understand the details of a project. They must be able to review plans and specifications, determine material requirements and make allowances for factors such as weather conditions and human error. They must also be able to meet tight deadlines and communicate changes in the project scope.

Construction estimators are in high demand, and this demand is expected to increase as the economy recovers. In fact, the average annual salary of a construction estimator is $60,390. However, the exact salary you earn will depend on your education and training, as well as the type of construction project you specialize in. The more specialized your expertise, the higher your salary will be. For example, a construction estimator who specializes in estimating the cost of a building with several levels will have a higher salary than an estimator who focuses on residential construction.