Who Hires Construction Estimators?
There are many estimating employment opportunities in a wide range of fields within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries. The following list is not comprehensive, as construction estimators are a valuable asset to virtually every type of business within the industry.
Architects and Engineers Office
Many levels of construction cost estimates need to be prepared during the design and engineering phase of construction. Virtually all construction projects are under budget constraints imposed by the project owner. These budget constraints govern nearly all aspects of the finished project from the structure to the project exterior and interior finishes. It is essential for both the architect and engineer to understand and take into account the owner’s budget limitations when preparing the design of any project.
The ability to prepare accurate construction estimates is an essential element for any general contractor’s operation. Few, if any, general contractors will be successful without the ability to prepare accurate and timely cost estimates. General contractors get business by bidding on projects, which are typically awarded to the lowest bidder. This requires the construction estimator to prepare a careful estimate that is both low enough to be the winning bidder while being high enough to assure that the project is profitable for the general contractor.
Working as an estimator for a specialty trade contractor requires understanding of all aspects of the construction process, as well as expert knowledge of the materials, components, and systems of their speciality. The subcontractor's work will integrate with other building materials, components, and systems. The specialty contractor estimator is responsible for doing accurate quantity takeoffs of the materials needed to complete the scope of work on the project.
Manufacturers of specialty materials and systems used in the construction industry may hire construction estimators to consult with other businesses within the industry that use those materials or systems. Part of the manufacturer representative’s responsibilities may include being a sales contact to architects, engineers, contractors, and specialty contractors to make them aware of the availability of the products and their application. In addition, they may work to review plans and specifications on individual projects to assure that their specific products work within the plans and specifications of that project. They may also work with local building officials to ensure that their products fall within the building code requirements of the jurisdiction.
The manufacturers’ representative is also often responsible to prepare material and cost estimates for the manufacturer’s specific materials and products for the architect, engineer, contractor or specialty contractor. It is also possible that a manufacturer’s representative may be an independent contractor in that he or she represents multiple products or manufacturers.