Business people need an expert who holds construction estimator jobs, and can reliably predict how much a future project will cost so as to determine what they can get or charge in return. No effective business project can be undertaken without a thorough assessment of the costs. This information has become more important as mass production techniques have made business decisions more expensive and long-term commitment vital to economic success. As production techniques become more and more specialized, it has become necessary to have one individual responsible for collecting and analyzing cost information on the many facets of production. Costs of labor, materials, transportation, equipment, and many other factors all must be collected and interpreted before a construction or manufacturing decision can be made. The cost estimator fulfills this function and is the vital link between a product idea and its implementation.
As long as there are buildings to be constructed or new products to be manufactured, there will be a need for experts who can establish how much the project will cost so that the people paying for the project will be able to make a wise business decision.
Part of the estimating jobs of the cost estimators has focused on the collection and analysis of information on the various factors influencing costs, such as the labor, materials, and machinery needed for a particular project. The scope of the work is largely determined by the type and size of the project being estimated. On a large building project, for example, the estimator reviews architectural drawings and other bidding documents before any construction begins. Then the estimator visits the potential construction site to collect site development costs, such as the costs involved for electricity and other services. After compiling a thorough understanding of the construction process and the people and machinery involved, the estimator writes a quantity survey, or “takeoff,” by completing standard estimating forms that provide spaces for the entry of dimensions of the project, number of units, and other information.
As to the estimator employment, sometimes, more than one estimator is hired in a certain project. However, estimators may specialize in respective areas. For example, one estimator may assess the electrical costs of a project while another concentrates on the transportation or insurance costs of those same projects. It is then the responsibility of a chief estimator to combine the reports and submit it into one development proposal.
Moreover, one common estimator job is to bring together the complex data in assessing certain costs. In the manufacturing process, for instance, an estimator may work with engineers to develop charts showing that labor costs should go down as the project progresses because the workers will learn the manufacturing process, become more efficient, and thereby increasing productivity is expected. Charts may also be used to measure how prices for a particular part compare with prices paid in the past, and what can be expected to be paid in the future. To be more effective, an estimator must keep up-to-date on the prices for labor, materials, and all the other factors that influence costs. This requires the ability to collect and interpret data. Likewise, he should also be able to compute and understand through accounting and mathematical formulas in order to make sound decisions based on these computations.
Construction and manufacturing firms usually prefer estimators who hold an impressive record on cost estimator jobs under concise procedures and a thorough knowledge of the costs involved in production. As in many professions, promotions for cost estimators in estimating construction jobs are dependent on skills and polished experience. Advancement usually comes in the way of more responsibility and higher wages. Likewise, some experienced cost estimators will also go into consulting work. They are trades people who display a particular aptitude or interest for cost analysis.
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