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4 Min. Read

How to Become a Construction Estimator? Step-By-Step Guide

How to Become a Construction Estimator? Step-By-Step Guide

The construction industry is an essential part of the workforce as people will always need buildings to be built.

It can also be a very lucrative business which is why a thorough and accurate estimate when starting a project is key.

Estimating in the construction industry is one of the most important steps in any construction project. It gives your client an idea of roughly how much they should be spending and helps you not run out of money halfway through a build.

That’s why a good construction estimator is worth their weight in gold. But how do you become a construction estimator? We’ll give you a step-by-step guide on the career path of an estimator within the construction trade.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is a Construction Estimator?

How to Become a Construction Estimator

Key Tools

Key Takeaways

What Is a Construction Estimator?

An estimator is responsible for researching and determining the total cost of a construction project.

They start by validating a detailed document named the ‘Scope of Work’. This lays out the entirety of work that needs to be done in order for the project to be completed.

This document, along with the building plans and specs, gives an estimator a starting point. They use this to compile a list of materials and the actual costs of labor.

How to Become a Construction Estimator

There are a number of things needed to become a construction estimator. We’ll give you a breakdown of each area.

1. Education

It is advantageous to have a high level of education. The most useful is a degree in either construction engineering, civil engineering or architecture.

It is possible to get a job without these qualifications. But if you don’t have a related degree then it would help to complete a certificate program in construction estimating.

2. Experience

As with any job that needs experience, it can be difficult to navigate.

Field experience doing the type of work you will be estimating for is incredibly useful. However, experience producing successful and accurate estimates is the golden ticket for success.

Experienced estimators are well sought after. So if you don’t have any relevant professional experience on construction sites then you may struggle for job opportunities.

The best-case scenario could be to gain an entry-level position within the construction sector and work your way up from there.

3. Presentation

How you present yourself to clients is very important. Your presentation says a lot about your professionalism and your work. There are even some who say that presentation is just as important as education and experience.

Essential skills for an estimator are having a keen eye for details and having a full understanding of the value of money. It’s also important to be competitive, have a strong aptitude for mathematics and have high critical thinking skills.

There are a lot of client-facing duties and company management when working as an estimator. So a strong set of people skills is useful, as well as analytical skills and the ability to be adaptable.

Key Tools

No construction estimator is complete without their set of tools.

It’s incredibly important to be organized and accurate when estimating a project. That’s why most construction estimators make use of various software to help keep track of everything.

FreshBooks services are perfectly tailored for small business owners. It is smart, manageable software that is easy to use.

FreshBooks is software that provides accounting solutions for any type of small business owner.

With invoices, payments, credits, and other financial information in one place, it’s easy to keep track of your employees and your clients.

FreshBooks allows you to set clear expectations with your estimates and proposals. It helps you to take the guesswork out of your planning and get you and your client on the same page.

Key Takeaways

Good cost estimators are a sought-after commodity.

But it’s not the sort of job you can simply walk into. The best piece of advice we can give is to constantly be looking to improve your skill set.

If you are struggling to get experience, make sure your education and presentation are beyond comparison. If you put yourself in the best possible position, then it’s far more likely that somebody will give you the chance you deserve.

Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?

Then check out the FreshBooks Resource Hub.


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