Duties and Requirements
The project estimator, also known as the cost estimator, serves a vital function in the growth of a company. This professional is responsible for accurately calculating the total costs associated with a project or the development of a new product.
A project estimator may also review bids offered by subcontractors in order to choose the most cost effective option.
Cost estimators predict the expense of future projects or products and usually work in the construction or manufacturing fields, although they can be found in a wide variety of industries. In addition to monetary costs, cost estimators must take into account the duration, scope, and potential profitability of a new project or product.
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. All based on professional experience and a written examination. Certified Professional Estimator (CPE) designation to interested applicants.
Skills and interests
Estimators combine site experience with
- Quantity surveying skills,
- Commercial acumen
- A mind capable of financial analysis.
- Maths and IT skills are important,
- A strong problem-solving ability
- Keen attention to detail.
- Be able to communicate well, verbally and in writing,
- Be able to manage projects.
- Organisational and presentational skills are crucial
- Estimators have to be able to meet tight deadlines.
- Estimators need an appreciation of data confidentiality,
- Be aware of things like price trends, regulations and exchange rates.
An estimator in the construction industry is responsible for compiling estimates of how much it will cost to provide a client or potential client with products or services. He or she will do this by working out how much a project is likely to cost and create budgets accordingly. The job involves
- Assessing material, labour and equipment required
- Analysing different quotes from sub-contractors and suppliers.
- Work from a bill of quantities (the document outlining the basics of the work to be done) ,a set of drawings from the client.
- Provide prices for everything from a one-off scheme to maintenance projects
- Working on a Private Finance Initiative
- An estimator is concerned with getting the best price that will win the contract in a competitive bidding situation,
- Ensuring that the contract can be carried out profitably.
- The best price isn’t always the lowest one, and clients now award contracts based on quality of the service offered, as well as cost.
- New work, a quality submission is included along with an estimated price.
- Help write the quality submission.
- Use of calculator, paper and pencil to produce an estimate,
- Computer technology that makes it possible to price and change a tender when clients accept electronic submissions. .
Estimator Job Duties:
• Prepares work to be estimated by gathering proposals, blueprints, specifications, and related documents.
• Identifies labor, material, and time requirements by studying proposals, blueprints, specifications, and related documents.
• Computes costs by analyzing labor, material, and time requirements.
• Resolves discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information.
• Presents prepared estimate by assembling and displaying numerical and descriptive information.
• Prepares special reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing information and trends.
• Maintains cost data base by entering and backing up data.
• Maintains technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing technical publications.
• Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
Estimator Skills and Qualifications:
Analyzing Information , Estimating, Planning, Reporting Research Results, Data Center Experience, Strategic Planning, Attention to Detail, Informing Others, Requirements Analysis
Job Duties and Tasks for: "Cost Estimator"
1)Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
2) Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
3) Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction foremen to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
4) Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
5) Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
6) Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
7) Review material and labor requirements, to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.
8) Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
9) Prepare and maintain a directory of suppliers, contractors and subcontractors.
10) Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
11) Establish and maintain tendering process, and conduct negotiations.
12) Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
13) Visit site and record information about access, drainage and topography, and availability of services such as water and electricity.