Project Estimator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Those who are adept in practical math may want to consider a career as a project estimator. This job entails a high level of responsibility but offers rewards like good entry-level pay and the satisfaction of contributing to the expansion of a business.
The project estimator, also known as the cost estimator, serves a vital function in the growth of a construction or manufacturing company. This professional is responsible for accurately calculating the total costs associated with a construction project or the development of a new product. The cost estimator's conclusions will help the company assess the feasibility of moving forward with the proposed project.
Specifically, a project estimator will take into consideration all relevant factors in the plan such as materials, labor and equipment, as well as related expenses including as insurance, taxes and incidental costs due to delays. A project estimator may also review bids offered by subcontractors in order to choose the most cost effective option.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for cost estimators is anticipated to rise 26% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average. The BLS also reported in 2013 that the median yearly salary for a cost estimator was $59,460 (www.bls.gov).
The daily duties of a project estimator vary considerably depending on the type of firm and the size of the project. According to the BLS, the vast majority of project estimators work in either the construction or manufacturing industries.
Construction Project Estimator
A cost estimator for a construction company assesses the potential development site for its appropriateness for building, checking for variables like plumbing and electrical availability. The next step is to determine the order of operations for expediency and identify the kinds and amounts of materials required.
All of these duties entail visits to potential construction sites, supply warehouses and service-oriented businesses. The project estimator takes measurements, records data and estimates the quantity of materials needed, and finally, using complex mathematical formulas, determines the final cost of development.
Manufacturing Project Estimator
The estimating professional who develops cost information for a manufacturing company will spend the majority of the workday preparing data associated with either producing a new product or improving the design of an existing product.
Involvement with vendors is also key, and the estimator may spend time visiting various subcontractors and negotiating with service professionals and suppliers. After careful calculations, the estimator will then forecast the production costs within a given timetable.
While there is no specific degree in cost estimation, a bachelor's degree is usually required by employers. Aspiring project estimators who wish to work in the construction industry would be well-served by a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management or building science. These 4-year programs, aside from general course curriculum, instruct students on structural systems, project planning, surveying systems and construction methodology.
On the other hand, prospective project estimators who would like to work in manufacturing usually pursue degrees in mathematics, engineering or statistics. Also 4-year programs, these degree programs focus much more heavily on mathematics and its practical application in business. Core courses may include statistics, variable analysis, linear algebra and probability theory.
Though not a requirement for practice, industry certification is available and may be viewed positively by employers. The Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) offers six levels of credentialing, all based on professional experience and a written examination. The American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) is more geared towards manufacturing estimation, and offers the Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) designation to interested applicants.
Prospective project estimators must be adept in mathematics. They should also have keen analytical skills. These professionals must be able to manage the high stress of tight deadlines and the major responsibility of accurately forecasting the budget for a project.
Related to Project Estimator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Recently Updated
Find out how to become a certified estimator. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to...
Research the requirements to become a body shop estimator. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to...
Learn how to become a collision estimator. Research the education and career requirements, certification and experience...
Learn how to become an auto body estimator. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements, and find...
- Auto Estimator Jobs: Career Options, Requirements and Duties
- Home Improvement Estimator: Job Description and Requirements
- Pool Cost Estimator: Job Description and Requirements
- Class Action Attorney: Job Description and Requirements
- Best Columbus School for Biomedical Engineering Technology Degrees
- Product Developer: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Conservation Technician: Job Description and Education Requirements