As an estimator, one has to read and make analysis of various figures, facts and details prior to the commencement of a construction project. Hence the budget of a construction project is determined by a construction estimator.
Responsibilities of a Construction Estimator
As a construction estimator, you will be responsible for figuring out various prices, percentages, raw details, figures, facts and also expectations of a project. You need to develop the budget of project on the basis of the building plans and as per its specifications and proposal. As an estimator, you also need to assist designers, engineers and project owners in determining whether their budget is suitable or whether the project is affordable or not. Also, you would be providing a better insight about the construction job to the owner and other important people involved. Then the owner and the team will be able to determine the compatibility of the project's budget with the proposed designs and plans.
A construction estimator compiles everything from the material cost, labor requirements and its cost to the various miscellaneous fees and expenditures. This estimation helps in the determination of a project's scope, measure, values and also the engineering aspects that need consideration. Employment of cost estimators are on full swing as there is a present boom in the construction industry.
The industry causes a lot of difference in cost estimation methods and ways. In a construction plan, the process of estimation commences with the submission of a bid. You need to do a proper review of various specifications, preliminary drawings, etc as an estimator. You will also need to make site visits for a clear idea. You will need to gather all the important information regarding the site accessibility, availability of water, electricity, topography, drainage system etc. After analyzing all this information, you will need to include these in a signed document and estimate in the final project.
After you have made a visit to the site, you need to determine the materials, labor and resource quantity required for the construction project. This is called the process of quantity survey. In this process, as an estimator, your duty is to complete forms of estimation, dimension filing, units, etc. During this process, it is your decision that would matter pertaining to equipment required, operational sequences, crew size required, and various constraints present in the site. You are also responsible for the incorporation of waste materials and its allowances, weather inclemency, delays in shipping, cost increase and similar factors.
Education and Skill Sets Required to be a Construction Estimator
With the advanced technology being implied in the various construction projects, employers are on the lookout for construction estimators with a degree or equivalent expertise in civil engineering, construction management, architecture, etc. With the right education, you will have good knowledge in construction and building science as these two are the most critical aspects for having a career as a construction estimator.
In this field there are many estimated skills that are required by a good construction estimator. Amongst them is the presence of strong analytical and mathematical skills with attention to detail. The ability to comprehend and read blueprints is important along with cost analysis and a study of complex subjects like electrical systems, HVAC, etc. And the most important thing is having good interpersonal and communication skills as this aid in coordinating with the project team effectively. As a construction estimator, you must possess basic computer knowledge especially working on spreadsheets and word processors. You must know how to use the internet and perform mailings.
Future of a Construction Estimator
Employment of construction estimators in an overall basis would grow much faster than other occupations by 2014. Job opportunities in this field are strong for applicants who have work experience in an industry and also a bachelor's degree in this particular field.
Salaries of construction estimators vary as per the education, experience, firm, or industry size. The average annual salary is about $49,940, the highest salary being $84,870 and the lowest being $30,240 annually.
College graduates with degrees related to this field have strong chances of having a career as a construction estimator or even a construction manager or engineer.