The job description of a construction estimator requires cost estimates to be made on construction projects using a variety of factors. The estimates can be made on residential, commercial, industrial or municipal building projects.
A construction estimator uses expertise gleaned from working in the industry along with construction plans to estimate necessary expenditures and devise a budget.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Construction Estimator
- Prepares bids and cost estimates that address every part of a building project.
- Helps keep building projects within the client’s budget limitations.
- Oversees financing on a building project.
- Makes sure that all cost estimates submitted by a contractor are as accurate as possible.
- Examines buildings that are in poor condition to determine the costs of repairs.
- Works with surveyors to estimate the types and amounts of materials needed to complete the construction job.
- Estimates the cost of equipment needed for a job.
- Maintains constant contact with site managers and engineers to estimate the duration of a project.
- Estimates costs of inclement weather and unforeseen events.
- Calculates the total cost of building projects.
- Consults with experts to get advice on difficult cost estimations.
- Estimates labor costs for a project.
- Evaluates the cost effectiveness of a product’s use and makes changes where necessary to improve overall cost effectiveness.
- Develops complete budgets and plans for projects.
- Tracks all costs from the inception of the building project to its conclusion.
- Re-figures cost estimates when necessary.
- Submits customized reports to clients.
- Offers advice to contractors as to whether or not it is cost effective to try different materials or products.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must have strong math and science skills.
- Must be detail oriented.
- Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills.
- Knowledge of how to read ad comprehend blueprints.
- Knowledge of the complex workings of plumbing, electrical, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems.
- Good interpersonal skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Must be able to work effectively as a member of a team.
- Must have strong computer skills, especially knowledge of spread sheets.
- Knowledge of how to use file transfer programs to send large drawing files to contractors.
- Knowledge of how to use complex project management software and construction scheduling software.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Engineering or Construction Management.
- Knowledge of construction processes and building science.
- Master’s degree in Architecture or Engineering.
- Certified Cost Consultant or CCC credentials.
- Experience working in the construction industry.
- Certification through the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering.
- Certification through the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis.
- Certification from the American Society of Professional Estimators or ASPE.
- Time is spent in an office environment.
- Time is spent at construction job sites.
- Must be able to travel to locations to meet with clients.
- Must be prepared to wear a hard hat, work boots and goggles at potentially dangerous job sites.
- Must be able to work in high pressure situations facing strict deadlines.
- Salaries range from $40,000 to $80,000 depending on the level of experience and years of service.