What Do Construction Estimators Do and Why Do You Need One?

A successful construction project depends on many factors but quoting the client the right amount is one of the most important.

If you’re in the construction industry and have not worked with a construction estimator, then you are missing out on an important asset.

To learn all about the importance of construction estimators, read on.

What Does a Construction Estimator Do?

In the construction industry, there are key positions the general public might not even know about. A construction estimator is one of them.

The job of a construction estimator is to determine the total cost of a construction project from start to finish. Having a well-rounded estimate on a construction project helps construction companies win bids.

Estimators will focus on different key factors to provide accurate estimates.

Commercial Vs Residential

Construction estimators are an important role in the industry — both residential and commercial clients need estimators to get the job done.

Commercial estimators are usually more focused on large-scale projects, reading plans, and taking a lot of information in.

Residential estimators tend to be more involved and develop closer relationships with home builders.

Both types of estimators need to have excellent math skills and pay attention to detail in order to be successful in the business.

Types of Estimations

Estimators need to focus on a few aspects to provide more accurate estimations to their clients.


The first thing they need to focus on is the cost of blueprints.

Estimators must survey the land and analyze if it will fit the project, either in size and cost.

In order to be successful in this role, estimators need to have knowledge of construction technology, architecture, building design, and detail surveying the project.

Material and Time Estimation

Time is money in the construction industry — delays can cause a client thousands of dollars.

Estimators need to work closely with suppliers to get the best quotes for all of the materials necessary. They need to take into consideration every piece of material, weather, and shipping delays.

Worker Estimation

Every construction project needs workers to make the project possible. An estimator needs to pull together a list of how many workers are needed for a specific project.

A quantity surveyor can calculate salaries and level of skill needed.

Cost Summary

The last aspect of the construction estimator job is presenting a cost summary for the project.

They must make a presentation and break down all the costs. Estimators must work hand in hand with project managers.

What Skills are Needed?

Construction estimators need the following skills in order to succeed:

  • Excellent math skills in algebra, arithmetic, and geometry
  • Microsoft Office knowledge, especially Excel
  • Knowledge of code
  • Be able to navigate and read plans
  • Detail oriented
  • Great communication skills

Construction Estimators: The Bottom Line

Construction estimators are an essential part of every construction project. They make sure to account for every detail and help construction projects win bids.

They must have projects in blueprints, material estimation, cost summary, and more.

If you enjoyed these tips, browse the rest of our blog for more advice.