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Estimator Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Estimator, or a Construction Estimator, helps businesses and individuals determine how much projects will cost and whether they have enough funds in their budgets. Their duties include predicting the costs of labour, supplies, and materials, getting estimates from subcontractors, and preparing detailed reports for clients.

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Estimator duties and responsibilities

Estimators compile and analyze information about the materials and labour needed for a project. Estimators also remind their clients about safety regulations, building codes, and other laws. Duties and responsibilities in an Estimator job description may include:

  • Recording and comparing bids from multiple vendors and subcontractors
  • Finding ways to reduce costs of equipment and supplies
  • Advising people about the most cost-effective ways to construct a home or business
  • Creating bills and invoices, and receiving payments from customers
  • Preparing changes to costs estimates when customers change their plans, or when the availability of materials or labour changes
  • Preparing schedules for construction progress to let customers know how long projects will take
  • Making reports about expenses for the duration of the project
  • Visiting job sites and analyzing blueprints and plans
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Estimator Job Description Examples:

What does an Estimator do?

Estimators often visit construction sites and speak with customers to learn about the scope of future projects. They create estimates by considering material costs and the complexity of the project. Estimators also predict overtime and staffing costs by thinking about project deadlines and explaining the reasons for costs to customers. Estimators allow companies to expand their facilities and build new ones without exceeding their budgets. They help reduce costs by researching average prices or pay rates, and they build relationships with vendors and subcontractors so they can give accurate price estimates to customers.

Estimator skills and qualifications

Successful Estimators are friendly, polite, and professional. They must be able to work under pressure, meet strict deadlines, work independently, and pay attention to a variety of complex details. Estimators also need to deal with many different types of customers. Some skills and qualifications for Estimators include:

  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to adapt quickly to unforeseen situations
  • Understanding of basic math, how to keep track of expenses, and how to follow a budget
  • Good sense of direction and the ability to use maps or smartphone apps to find jobsites
  • Extensive understanding of construction methods and materials

Estimator experience requirements

In most circumstances, new Estimators should have at least a year of experience. Applicants without previous experience may have a lower salary range. Some positions, however, may require candidates who have worked as Estimators for more than five years.

Estimator education and training requirements

Most Estimator jobs require a secondary school diploma or GED. Regardless of industry, some candidates may hold an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fields including engineering, civil engineering, or construction engineering. Candidates with experience in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, or a similar field in place of more extensive formal education can make appealing candidates as well. No certificates are required by law, but the best applicants often have certifications from the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. Most new hires will need on-the-job training.

Estimator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Estimator in Canada is $71,223 per year. Rates vary depending on factors like location, their experience, skill, and education levels, and the employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

If an Estimator isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, some similar job description samples that may suit you include:

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Estimator job description FAQs

Who does an Estimator report to?

Most Estimators report to Estimator Managers, Construction Managers, Builders, Contractors, or Field Supervisors. Though some do act as independent contractors, and they can make estimates for businesses or individuals. Estimators do many parts of their work alone, but they can also work as part of a team.

What is a typical day like for an Estimator?

Estimators visit construction sites or factories often, but they spend most of their working hours on computers, inside offices or at home. They also communicate with clients and managers over the phone or in meetings. Some Estimators focus on creating cost estimates for one large project at a time, and others work on several smaller projects at once. Some Estimators work in fields like auto repair or civil engineering instead of construction.

What makes a good Estimator job description?

To write an interesting Estimator job description, include an overview of the business, its history, culture, and values, and the experience, skills, and training required. Also, let applicants know how much travel will be needed, the hours the new Estimator will need to work, and whether a dress code will be required. Discuss any benefits that come with the position, such as paid vacation time, and how much travel will be required.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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