A construction estimator can be used on many types of construction jobs, from a home to a road to a waste water treatment plant. A construction estimator determines how much to budget for the job and how much to bid for it. The estimator will review the plans, visit the proposed construction site, and then estimate what it will cost to build.
Sometimes after the estimator tells clients how much the plans will cost, the vision for the project changes. For example, sometimes government agencies redesign roads and bridges after an estimator tells them about the price. That means the construction estimator must be willing to listen to the client and flexible to their needs. They must also be detail-oriented, because thousands and sometimes millions of dollars are at stake.
An estimator will begin a job by reading the blueprints. Every annotation, every measurement, every note, and all the specifications will be read. Then, the estimator starts taking measurements, calling suppliers, and asking subcontractors to look at the plans. Potential suppliers and subcontractors will give an estimate to the estimator. The construction estimator also will visit the job site to make certain there aren't any costly issues. For example, building in a congested area might require that the roads are shut down when materials are delivered and the city may charge for that. After the estimator has all the bids, he or she chooses the ones that meet their requirements and then submits the estimate to the owner. Sometimes there are time deadlines that must be met.
A construction estimator is required to be very familiar with construction and able to work under pressure and time deadlines. They typically must have previous experience in construction and construction estimation.
Construction Estimator Tasks
- Consult with outsides sources and analyze documents to create time, cost, materials and labor estimates.
- Create cost tracking and reporting operational systems.
- Create estimates and cost or expenditure statements for use in future project consideration.