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  • Writer's pictureSydney Estimator

How To Become A Construction Estimator

Most regions of Australia are experiencing a construction boom and so the demand for skilled construction estimators is high.


Many construction companies require their estimators to have a degree in a related field such as building, construction management, and quantity surveying.


Alternatively, some on-the-job experience combined with specialized training can also lead to becoming a successful estimator for construction projects.


It is important for construction estimators to have strong mathematical and computer skills, as well as attention to detail. Being able to accurately assess the cost of materials, labour, and equipment is crucial in this role. Continuing education is also necessary in order to stay up-to-date with industry changes and new technology.


Joining a professional organization, such as the Association of Professional Estimators, can also provide opportunities for networking and additional training.


How does someone become a construction estimator?

Here are the requirements and steps to become a construction estimator:


1. Obtain a related degree or experience in the construction industry

In most instances, a degree in a related field such as building and construction management or quantity surveying is required. However, on-the-job experience combined with specialized training can also lead to becoming a successful estimator.


2. Get certified

Depending on the region, obtaining certification through organizations such as the American Society of Professional Estimators or the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International can demonstrate professionalism and competence in the field.


3. Stay current with industry changes and technology advancements

Continuing education is necessary in order to stay up-to-date with industry changes and new technology. Joining a professional organization, such as the Association of Professional Estimators, can also provide opportunities for networking and additional training.


4. Develop strong mathematical and computer skills

Being able to accurately assess the cost of materials, labour, and equipment is crucial in this role. It is important for construction estimators to have strong mathematical and computer skills, as well as attention to detail.


5. Gain experience through internships or entry-level positions

Many construction companies offer internships or entry-level positions in estimation, providing hands-on experience and the opportunity to learn from experienced estimators. It can also be helpful to work in different areas of the construction industry before becoming an estimator, as this offers a well-rounded understanding of the overall process. Becoming a construction estimator requires a combination of education, certification, experience, and strong skills in math and technology. With the demand for skilled estimators on the rise, now is a great time to pursue this career path.


What does a construction estimator do on a day-to-day basis?

A construction estimator is responsible for determining the anticipated cost of a construction project. This involves analysing blueprints and specifications, assessing the cost of materials and labour, and considering any potential risks or challenges.


Here are 7 other roles that a construction estimator may fulfil on a day-to-day basis:


1. Communicate with clients, project managers, and subcontractors

2. Monitor changes in the construction process that may affect costs

3. Create cost estimates for different phases or aspects of a project

4. Research material and labour prices

5. Prepare bid documents and contracts

6. Review proposals from subcontractors

7. Negotiate and monitor project contracts to ensure adherence to budget.


Overall, a construction estimator plays an important role in the planning and execution of a construction project, ensuring that all necessary resources are accounted for and within budget.


It is also important for construction estimators to continuously update their knowledge of industry changes and technology advancements in order to provide accurate and efficient cost estimates. With the demand for skilled estimators on the rise, now is a great time to pursue this career path.


How to become a construction estimator in 2022

Knowing how to become a construction estimator is a big step towards actualising your dream. To qualify, you need a combination of education, certification, experience, and strong skills in math and technology.

1. Get an education in a related field such as building and construction management or quantity surveying

2. Consider getting certified through organizations in Australia such as the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors or the Australian Institute of Building

3. Gain experience through internships or entry-level positions in construction

4. Stay current with industry changes and technology advancements through continuing education and membership in professional organizations

5. Develop strong mathematical and computer skills to accurately assess project costs

With the demand for skilled estimators on the rise, now is a great time to pursue this career path.


But remember, becoming a successful construction estimator takes dedication and hard work, but it can lead to a rewarding career in the growing construction industry.


The necessary skills for becoming a successful construction estimator

Here are the skills that are necessary for success as a construction estimator:


1. Attention to detail

Being attentive to detail means being able to efficiently and accurately assess project costs and identify potential risks or challenges.


2. Communication

Effective communication is important to maintain relationships with clients, project managers, and subcontractors.


3. Organisation

Being organized allows for efficient management of the estimating process and meeting project deadlines.


4. Decision making

Making well-informed decisions throughout the estimating process can lead to successful project outcomes.


5. Negotiation

Negotiating contracts with subcontractors and suppliers can help maintain project budgets.


6. Problem-solving

Being able to quickly assess and solve problems that may arise during the estimating process is essential for success as a construction estimator.


7. Math skills

Strong mathematical skills are vital for accurately assessing project costs and potential profits.


8. Technological proficiency

Being able to use estimating software and other industry technology helps increase efficiency in the estimating process.

Developing these skills can help set you on a successful path toward becoming a construction estimator in 2022 and beyond.


What are the challenges of the job and how can you overcome them?

Some of the common challenges for construction estimators include meeting tight deadlines, dealing with unexpected project changes or complications, and maintaining accurate cost estimates.


To overcome these challenges, it is important to stay organized and prioritize tasks, continually update your knowledge and skills in the industry, and have strong problem-solving abilities.


Additionally, effective communication and collaboration with project managers and subcontractors can help address any unexpected changes or complications during the estimating process.


Generally, becoming a successful construction estimator takes hard work, dedication, and commitment to continuously improve your skills and knowledge in the industry. However, it can lead to a rewarding career in the growing construction industry.


Salary expectations for construction estimators

In Australia, the average salary for construction estimators is around $85,000 per year.

Experience and education level can also impact salary potential, with senior estimators and those with advanced degrees or certifications earning higher salaries. Additionally, the specific industry or company can also affect salary potential.


Overall, a career as a construction estimator can lead to a financially rewarding career in the growing construction industry.


Tips for getting hired as a construction estimator

Here are crucial tips for getting hired as a construction estimator:


1. Obtain relevant education or training

You need to prove your knowledge and skill before applying for estimator positions. Consider obtaining a degree in construction management or completing an apprenticeship program to gain hands-on experience and industry training.


2. Build your network

Networking with industry professionals can help you learn about job opportunities and make valuable connections in the field.


3. Get certified

Earning professional certifications can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the industry. Consider becoming a Certified Professional Estimator through the American Society of Professional Estimators.


4. Stay up to date on industry trends and technology

Keeping current with industry updates and developments can make you a more competitive job candidate. This includes staying proficient in using estimating software and other relevant technology.


5. Showcase your experience

Highlight any relevant experience on your resume and during interviews. This can include past estimator positions, but also other related roles in the construction field such as project management or subcontractor management.


6. Demonstrate strong communication skills

As a construction estimator, you will need to effectively communicate with project managers, subcontractors, and clients. Show how you can effectively convey cost estimates and address concerns or changes during the estimating process.


7. Detail your attention to detail

Demonstrate how you pay close attention to details in past work experience or through specific examples during interviews. This is crucial for accurately assessing project costs and avoiding potential mistakes.


8. Highlight problem-solving abilities

Construction projects often encounter unexpected changes or complications, and as an estimator, it is important to have strong problem-solving skills. Share how you effectively addressed challenges in past work experience or how you would handle specific scenarios during interviews.


9. Understand the bidding process

Being familiar with the bidding process and how to accurately submit bids can make you a more competitive job candidate.


10. Seek opportunities for continued learning

Continuously update your skills and knowledge in the industry by attending conferences or workshops, joining professional organizations, and staying current on industry updates and trends. This shows your commitment to your career and can make you a more valuable asset to potential employers.


The future of the construction industry and how it will impact estimators

The construction industry in Australia is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with an estimated 1.6 million job openings projected through 2026. This provides opportunities for estimators, who are crucial to the successful planning and budgeting of construction projects. Technological advancements will also continue to impact how estimators do their job, with a greater emphasis on digital estimating tools and techniques.


By following these tips and staying current in the industry, you can position yourself for a successful career as a construction estimator.


How to improve your chances of being hired as a construction estimator

1. Obtain a degree or complete an apprenticeship program to gain industry training and hands-on experience.

2. Network with industry professionals to learn about job opportunities and make valuable connections.

3. Earn professional certifications to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the industry.

4. Stay up to date on industry trends and technology to remain competitive in the job market.

5. Showcase relevant experience, whether it be past estimator positions or related roles in the construction field.

6. Demonstrate strong communication skills and attention to detail.

7. Highlight your problem-solving abilities and understanding of the bidding process.

8. Seek opportunities for continued learning and professional development.

Overall, the key to improving your chances of being hired as a construction estimator is to showcase your industry knowledge and expertise, along with your dedication to staying current in the field and continuously updating your skills.


What learning resources are available online?

There are several resources online for those who want to learn more about how to become a construction estimator, including courses and workshops, professional organisations and certification programs, industry publications and articles, and online networking groups.


Additionally, many construction software companies offer webinars or tutorials on how to use their estimating tools. It is important to do your research and find reputable sources for continued learning in the industry.


Moreover, there are also online job search resources available, where you can find estimator positions and network with industry professionals. Ultimately, how successful you are as a construction estimator will depend on your dedication to ongoing education and professional development. Utilizing the various learning resources available online can help you achieve this goal.


What methods can construction estimators use to improve the success of their bids?

Some methods construction estimators can use to improve the success of their bids includes:

1. Thoroughly researching and understanding the project requirements, specifications, and any potential risks.

2. Developing a clear and organized bid proposal.

3. Estimating accurately by utilizing industry standard pricing guides and consulting with subcontractors and suppliers.

4. Keeping track of current market prices and materials availability.

5. Make sure to include all necessary expenses, such as labour, equipment, permits, and insurance.

6. Understanding the client’s budget and developing a competitive bid that meets their needs without sacrificing profitability.

7. Maintaining strong communication with the client throughout the bidding process.

Ultimately, how successful a construction estimator is in their bids will also depend on their industry knowledge and experience, as well as their attention to detail and organization. These methods can help improve their chances of successfully securing a project.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are 15 questions and answers related to how to become a construction estimator:


1. How long does it usually take to become a construction estimator?

This can vary depending on education and previous experience, but it typically takes several years of hands-on experience in the industry before becoming an estimator.


2. Is a degree required to become a construction estimator?

While not always required, a degree in a related field such as construction management or engineering can be beneficial for becoming an estimator.


3. Can I become a construction estimator without previous experience in the industry?

Previous experience in the construction industry is often necessary to become an estimator. However, individuals with strong mathematical skills and attention to detail may be able to break into the field without previous experience.


4. What types of firms hire construction estimators?

Construction companies, general contractors, and engineering firms often hire estimators.


5. How much do construction estimators make?

The average salary for construction estimators in Australia is $70,554 per year.


6. What is the job outlook for construction estimators?

The job outlook for construction estimators is projected to grow at a rate of 6% through 2026, which is about average compared to other occupations.


7. What are some common tasks for construction estimators?

Some common tasks for construction estimators include collecting project data, analysing material and labour costs, preparing bids or cost estimates, and collaborating with team members.


8. What skills are important for construction estimators to have?

Strong mathematical skills, attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and understanding of the bidding process are all important skills for construction estimators to have.


9. What is the difference between a construction estimator and a cost estimator?

A construction estimator focuses on estimating project costs specifically for the construction industry, while a cost estimator may work in various industries, estimating the costs of products or services.


10. How can I improve my skills as a construction estimator?

Continued education and professional development, networking with industry professionals, and utilizing industry resources are all ways to improve my skills as a construction estimator.


11. Are there any certification programs for construction estimators?

Yes, the American Society of Professional Estimators offers a Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) certification for individuals in the construction estimating field.


12. What do construction estimators need to know about building codes and regulations?

It is important for construction estimators to have a thorough understanding of building codes and regulations, as they can impact project costs.


13. Is it necessary for construction estimators to have a technical understanding of building materials and methods?

Having a technical understanding of building materials and methods can be helpful for construction estimators, as it can aid in accurately estimating project costs.


14. How do construction estimators stay up to date with industry trends and changes?

Staying active in professional organizations, networking with industry professionals, and regularly reviewing industry publications and resources can help construction estimators stay up to date with industry trends and changes.


15. Can construction estimators work remotely or from home?

It depends on the company and job responsibilities, but some construction estimators may be able to work remotely or from home on a regular basis. However, on-site visits may be necessary at times.


16. How do construction estimators work with project managers and team members?

Construction estimators often collaborate with project managers and other team members to gather project data, analyse costs, and prepare bids or cost estimates. Effective communication and teamwork skills are important in this role.


17. How can construction estimators improve their bid success rate?

Conducting thorough research, accurately analysing project data and costs, staying up to date with industry trends, and effectively communicating with team members and clients can all help improve a construction estimator's bid success rate.


Conclusion

Becoming a construction estimator requires strong mathematical skills, attention to detail, and an understanding of the bidding process. Continuing education and staying up to date with industry changes can help improve skills and the bid success rate in this role. Certification programs, such as the CPE from the American Society of Professional Estimators, are available for those interested. Construction estimators often work with project managers and team members to gather and analyze data for cost estimates and may need a technical understanding of building materials and methods. It is also important for construction estimators to have knowledge of building codes and regulations. While some estimators may be able to work remotely or from home, on-site visits may also be necessary. Overall, effective communication and teamwork skills are important for construction estimators.



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