Estimator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Estimator, or Project Estimator, is responsible for deciding the projected time frame needed to complete a project and additional factors like labor needs, materials, budgets and potential setbacks. Their duties include communicating with personnel and contractual professionals or vendors, using computer software to weigh production risks or compile reports and making presentations to project leaders outlining their suggestions for upcoming projects.

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Estimator duties and responsibilities

Estimators work closely with many other professionals including consultants, contractors, accountants and operations personnel to provide the most accurate and comprehensive financial and budget analysis for their employers. Their duties often include:

  • Analyzing requirement documents, blueprints and project plans to gain a thorough understanding of the project
  • Determining what factors of production will influence the cost of a service or product
  • Preparing material estimates and cost estimates for the product or service
  • Creating labor estimates for any project
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with company vendors and contractors
  • Managing bids from vendors and contractors
  • Using bid data to prepare detailed a cost analysis
  • Presenting prepared estimates to management and other stakeholders
  • Compiling and recording actual costs
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Estimator Job Description Examples


Example 1

*Job Summary*: * Responsible to follow and support all requirements included in the QMS/EMS Systems for Robinson Industries * Prepare es * Interface with Engineering and/or Sales to ensure information for complete and accurate es * Maintain ation records * Perform other assignments as requested or required * Report to Customer Service Manager *Knowledge and Skills Preferred: * * High School diploma * Computer skills * Knowledge of basic Accounting * Ability to keep confidences * Detail/Accuracy oriented * Good skills Job Type: Full-time Pay: $40,000.00 - $45,000.00 per year Benefits: * 401(k) * Dental insurance * Health insurance * Paid time off * Vision insurance Schedule: * 8 hour shift Supplemental Pay: * Bonus pay Education: * High school or equivalent (Preferred) Experience: * ing: 1 year (Preferred) Work Location: One location

Example 2

*Project Estimator* Our Franchise is seeking someone who is comfortable working hard in challenging situations, enjoys meeting new people, has excellent communication skills, and is a serious multi-tasker. If you are self-motivated and have superb interpersonal skills, then you’ll thrive in this work environment. Are you highly dependable and super-excited about routinely exceeding expectations? Then you may be our perfect hero! As a valued Servpro® Franchise employee, you will receive a competitive pay rate, with opportunity to learn and grow. *Primary Customer Satisfaction * Establish customer relationship for mitigation / remediation services * Educate customer on the mitigation / remediation process * Ensure that estimates meet client requirements Project Initiation * Analyze labor, material, and time requirements for a project * Create an accurate sketch and initial scope of work for mitigation / remediation projects. * Deliver a consistent and well-defined initial estimate. * Work with Operations Manager to price bid items, if needed. *Necessary Experience and Skill Set* * 2 years previous estimating and/or insurance adjusting experience * Superb customer service track record * Effective written and oral communication * Advanced math skills * Proficient use of Xactimate™ estimating software * Critical thinking and problem-solving skills * Team Player * Must have good driving record Normal Working Hours, Additional Working Hours, and Travel Requirements This is a full-time position, working 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday, 45 hours per week. This position frequently requires long hours, working on-call, and weekend work. Travel is required and is primarily local. However, some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected. Each Servpro® Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated. Revised 07/20 Job Type: Full-time Pay: $45,000.00 - $55,000.00 per year Benefits: * 401(k) matching * Dental insurance * Health insurance * Paid time off Schedule: * Monday to Friday Supplemental Pay: * Commission pay Experience: * Xactimate: 2 years (Required) Work Location: Multiple Locations

Example 3

*Smith Fence* is looking for a full time Estimator to work in the Temporary & Commercial Fence Division to increase the output of es across the state of Florida at our headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. SFC provides a competitive salary package based on experience which also includes company benefits. This individual will be trained and work hand in hand with the Sales & Operations Team. About Us: Smith Fence is a third-generation family business that has been in successful operations since 1977. We have 3 offices throughout the State of Florida and have performed work throughout the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Our business is comprised of a commercial fence division, temporary/rental fencing, gate automation, and motorsport safety division. We have many employees who have worked for the company more than 10 years. We are experts in our line of work, and always remember to put family before fence! Education & Required Skills: * Bachelor’s degree is preferred. * Estimating experience in Construction * Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel). Utilizing a smart phone, and can learn and utilize Smith Fence software systems * Blue Beam, or various estimating software programs for take offs to prepare take offs/estimates * Ability to read blueprint construction drawings and specifications * Outstanding and professional oral, written communication, and interpersonal skills * Strong analytical skills and is detail oriented * Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and as part of a team * What is most important is a hard-working individual, who possesses leadership attributes, and is trainable! Job Duties & * Review and Quote a high volume of ITB’s (invitation to bid) * Contact customers to go through any applicable questions in regard to the project needs * Prepare estimates for customers * Touch base and follow up with customers to close on ed opportunities * Review new installations with Field Operations Team * Call in underground locates if applicable Benefits: * Health insurance coverage * Dental/Vision insurance * PTO * 401k plan with company match * Employee discounts * Great people, & great working environment!!! Must pass drug test, background check, and have adequate driving record and be approved by company insurance Job Type: Full-time Pay: $40,000.00 - $50,000.00 per year Benefits: * 401(k) * Dental insurance * Health insurance * Paid time off * Vision insurance Schedule: * 8 hour shift Education: * Bachelor's (Preferred) Experience: * Construction Estimating: 1 year (Preferred) * Auto Estimating: 1 year (Preferred) Work Location: One location

Example 4

*Overall Purpose OF THE JOB* Responsible for cost estimations on a bid, defining subcontracted work and obtaining e information for subcontracted work, defining material needs and working with procurement on getting pricing on material, defining Rex Labor required for the project. *Essential Functions* * Providing an accurate estimate of costs and timing of the work, clarifying unclear scope items and other issues that come from the specifications and drawing, siting the risks and gray areas of the scope and working with the Leaders of the company on the appropriate bid to bring for the project * May work with the Project Manager to ensure the method of estimation is consistent with customer’s intent and the foremen’s method of executing project * Work with the Project Managers during the project to analyze costs and progress to understand over run or under run opportunities * Continue to improve the method of estimating costs from a time and accuracy standpoint * Develop the software and other tools used to estimate and report costs of projects * Take part in the postmortem process to help analyze cost differentials between estimated and actual * Continue to adapt the work standards and assemblies as improvements are made in the field or in the use of Pre-Fabrication techniques * Manage the estimate process * Define the subcontracted work required – confirming with Project Manager * Define the open issues, submit and manage RFI’s and incorporate responses into e * Initial definition of risks and gray areas of scope of project * Detail the material required to execute the project, defining specified product versus generic product, and working with procurement to get advice on the bidding and communicate the risks of taking on the project * Develop tools for more timely and accurate estimates * Adapt the work standards and assemblies as methods are improved or changed due to impact of method improvements or prefab components * Assemblies * Productivity standards * Material usage * Overhead and other costs * Performs all other duties as required *Qualifications* AND/OR Training* * High School diploma required * Bachelor’s degree preferred or equivalent experience * 5 years of experience in electrical construction projects required * Experience of NECA standards and other Construction standards depending on type of project * Good understanding of MEP building systems REX Electric & Technologies is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunity without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability related to ability, sexual orientation, military status, order of protection status or unfavorable discharge from military service. No public contractor or subcontractor shall discriminate or permit discrimination against any applicant for employment, or in the terms or conditions of employment of any employee, or in connection with any apprenticeship or other training program, because of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, order of protection status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability unrelated to ability, sexual orientation, military status or unfavorable discharge from military service Job Type: Full-time Pay: $75,000.00 - $95,000.00 per year Benefits: * 401(k) * 401(k) matching * Dental insurance * Flexible schedule * Health insurance * Life insurance * Paid time off * Tuition reimbursement * Vision insurance Schedule: * 8 hour shift Education: * Bachelor's (Preferred) Experience: * Construction estimating: 1 year (Preferred) Work Location: One location

What does an Estimator do?

Estimators typically work for corporations across industries, especially in construction services, to help leaders determine what they need to see a project through to completion. They work closely with contractors and team members to evaluate relative costs or potential risks and conclude whether they can complete a project within the time frame and budget that the client wants. Their job is to perform mathematical calculations and get quotes from vendors to estimate the costs needed for labor and materials. 

They may also be responsible for reevaluating project needs throughout the course of the project to adjust to environmental restraints or budget cuts.

Estimator skills and qualifications

Estimators use a variety of technical and soft skills to support the profitable operations of a company, including:

  • Proficiency in mathematics, statistics and data analysis
  • Excellent analytical skills and attention to detail
  • Report writing and strategic planning skills
  • Familiarity with analyzing requirement data to develop material and cost estimates for large projects
  • Expertise with analytic tools, such as spreadsheets and database managers
  • Ability to read and interpret technical documents
  • Excellent written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Exceptional time management skills

Estimator salary expectations

An Estimator earns an average of $68,920 per year. Salary may depend on the candidate’s level of education, experience and geographical location.

Estimator education and training requirements

Estimators must have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, finance, accounting, statistics or another related field. Candidates with degrees and training in engineering management or project management with relevant work experience may also be qualified for the role.

Common training requirements include the Certified Professional Estimator, awarded by the American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE). Estimators with five or more years of work experience are eligible to enroll in this training program. Estimators with less than five years of experience may enroll in the Associate Estimating Professional certification program. Both certifications demonstrate a candidate’s refined skills and expertise in the field.

Estimator experience requirements

Entry-level Estimator candidates should have at least one year of experience estimating costs in a relevant industry. Some entry-level candidates may have other finance, cost accounting or other project management related experience. Other candidates who have three or more years of experience may be able to start work with little-to-no additional training. Those who have five or more years of experience may have leadership potential and be ready for more specialized tasks. 

Job description samples for similar positions

If you are hiring for another role similar to an Estimator, consider these templates as well:

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Frequently asked questions about Estimators


What is the difference between an Estimator and a Quantity Surveyor?

Estimators and Quantity Surveyors both work to assist corporations and construction companies in assessing the needs of a particular project. They differ in the types of projects they work on and their involvement at each stage of a project. For example, Quantity Surveyors typically work on large-scale projects like the construction of damn, bridges or business parks. In contrast, Estimators typically work on smaller-scale projects like that range from building a home to developing a new form of software or product. 

Another difference is that Quantity Surveyors stay involved throughout a project’s life cycle, whereas Estimators usually perform their job duties before the start of the project.


What are the daily duties of an Estimator?

On a typical day, an Estimator starts by checking their email and phone messages to respond to time-sensitive messages from clients and vendors. Throughout the day, they evaluate multiple projects, determining the materials and labor needed to complete each project. They get quotes from Vendors and Contractors to make calculations to find out the total estimated cost of a project. Estimators also participate in meetings with Project Leaders and team members to discuss potential risks and budgeting needs.

During downtime in their office, Estimators compile reports outlining everything their client needs to complete a project within a set time frame, including the cost.


What qualities make a good Estimator?

A good Estimator has an investigative nature that drives their research to determine the amount of money, labor and tools necessary to complete a project. They have excellent interpersonal communication, allowing them to connect with and maintain business relationships with Contractors, freelance professionals or Vendors. Further, a good Estimator values the expertise of others and speaks with Project Managers and industry professionals to help determine relative costs or labor needs for a project. A good Estimator also enjoys mathematics and has experience performing statistical calculations to aid their decision-making.


Who does an Estimator report to?

Estimators typically report to the Project Manager to provide them with assistance in weighing the potential risks and costs associated with taking on a particular project. Freelance Estimators may report directly to the client. For example, an Estimator reports to a Property Owner looking to transform a piece of land into an apartment complex.

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