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4 Min. Read

What Is an Estimator? Definition & Examples

What Is an Estimator? Definition & Examples

If you’re in the construction industry, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard the term “estimator” used. Estimates are a hot topic for freelancers and independent contractors. They’re what clients base their purchases on. Accurate estimates are an important part of any construction business.

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about estimators!

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is an Estimator?

More About Construction Cost Estimators

Why are Estimators Needed?

Key Takeaways

What Is an Estimator?

An estimator is one of two things when it comes to small businesses. They can be one of the following:

  • A construction cost estimator is a person who creates estimates for construction projects. Construction cost estimators use analytical skills and communication skills in their job. They assist in the project planning phase of construction.
  • An estimator may also refer to cost estimation software. There are industry-specific software estimators available. Construction cost estimators use this software to assist them in their daily job duties. Cost estimation software is highly effective for communicating estimates with potential clients.

Both of these things are crucial in the construction process. Construction cost estimators can use estimation software to help them in their jobs. Consistent estimators can attribute their success to this software. An efficient estimator can, as well.

More About Construction Cost Estimators

Most construction firms employ at least one construction cost estimator. These estimators normally have a diverse background in construction. Construction estimators have to fit a number of certain qualities.

Education for Construction Estimators

Most firms prefer that construction estimators have a college degree in a related field. Fields that can lead to construction estimation careers are:

  • Mathematics
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction science or construction management

In addition to having a degree in these fields, prior experience in the construction industry is preferred. On-the-job experience can make all the difference when making the critical choices involved in this role.

Training for Construction Cost Estimators

Training will vary from firm to firm. Firms will use different estimation software from one another. Additionally, there may be training requirements at the job before individuals can be an estimator. Each firm will have unique training needs, but it’s most likely that you’ll have to start in an entry-level position. Then, after the experience is gained, becoming a construction cost estimator may be possible.

Certifications for Construction Cost Estimators

There are many certifications available for construction cost estimators. Each one is listed and described below:

  • Certified Professional Estimator - Offered by the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE). It requires five or more years of experience as an estimator. Applicants also have to have good writing abilities and communication skills. To receive this, applicants must pass a General Estimator Knowledge test and an area-specific test.
  • Associate Estimating Professional - Also offered by the ASPE. This is for applicants with less than five years of experience. The General Estimator Knowledge test has to be passed to receive this certification.
  • Certified Estimating Professional - Requires eight years of experience. Offered by a different association.
  • Certified Cost Estimator - This certification is offered by an international group. It requires five years of experience and a college degree.

In addition to these certifications, general skills are required as well.

Skills Needed to be a Construction Cost Estimator

Construction cost estimators need many hard and soft skills to be successful. Some of these skills are listed below:

  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Computer skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • General construction skills

Having a healthy combination of all of these skills leads to success.

Why are Estimators Needed?

Construction cost estimators are needed to help create estimates for clients. These estimators often have good knowledge of the projects being taken on. They also have the communication skills needed to explain them.

Construction costs estimates need to be explained to clients and companies. Clients need to know what their money is being used for. This can consist of materials and labor. Companies need to know how they’re spending their money, and how they can make a profit.

Construction cost estimators aren’t talked about too often. Their job is very specific, and firms will hire estimators with different areas of expertise. This lets them cover all the bases for all projects.

Key Takeaways

Estimators are both people and programs. Skilled estimators use estimation programs to help them with their work. They communicate project costs with companies and their clients. They are some of the most important employees at construction firms for this reason.


If you need to know more about specific estimators or estimation techniques, be sure to check out our resource hub! It has plenty of useful information.


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