What exactly is a construction estimator?

What exactly is a construction estimator?

There’s a lot at stake in construction for both the client and construction company. Planning and budgeting are key drivers of a successful project, and an estimator plays a pivotal role in this.

Let’s look at exactly what they do and why the role of a construction estimator is so important.

The role of a construction estimator

A construction estimator has the role of compiling a list of materials, equipment and labour needed for a project and determining the estimated costs of such things. This includes predicting the quantity and cost of everything from concrete and bricks to nails and bolts, as well as trades for the project. It’s their job to consider all the factors relevant to each project and how best to meet the needs of all parties within a specified budget. So a construction estimator has the important role of estimating the cost of completion.

Skills and knowledge needed

As you’ve probably guessed, estimators need to be great with numbers. Their calculations can make or break a project. But being an estimator is much more involved than just making calculations. Estimators need to understand construction fully. In fact, estimators often have a background in a trade like carpentry that gives them a holistic view.

Estimators also need to be technologically savvy in so far as using specialised software to make their calculations. These programs allow them to streamline their processes and be more accurate. They help measure plans electronically, extract quantities, and simplify what was once a slow, manual process. So estimators need to stay up to date with these tools as part of their job.

Many estimators also maintain professional development through short courses, certifications, and staying informed about industry trends and standards.

Other skills that are valued in construction estimators include attention to detail, and good decision making and problem solving skills. Obviously being precise aids in more accurate estimation, but problem solving is also a great trait. Estimators can come up with better solutions to achieve both design and budget goals.

An average estimator’s salary is around of $100,000[1] but a skilled estimator has the potential to earn much more than this. They can build a profitable career by moving into senior estimator positions, or even branch out into project management or consultancy roles.

An estimator plays a key role in the construction process. They ensure conceptual designs can be realised through careful planning and calculating.

Interested in becoming an estimator?

If you feel you’re well suited to a career in construction estimating, TIV offers the following courses to assist you:

Certificate IV in Building Project Support (Estimating Stream) (7 month course)

Computer Software Estimating  (3 week course)

To find out more about our courses or to discuss your options, contact our friendly course advisors on 03 933 9511 or visit www.tiv.vic.edu.au.

[1] https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/estimator/salary

The construction industry in Australia is a thriving one with varied opportunities across a range of trades and positions. If you’d like to pursue a career in the building and construction industry, please contact us.


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