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Become An Electrical Estimator

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Working As An Electrical Estimator

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrical Estimator Do

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.

Duties

Cost estimators typically do the following:

  • Identify factors affecting costs, such as production time, materials, and labor
  • Read blueprints and technical documents in order to prepare estimates
  • Collaborate with engineers, architects, clients, and contractors
  • Calculate, analyze, and adjust estimates 
  • Recommend ways to reduce costs
  • Work with sales teams to prepare estimates and bids for clients
  • Maintain records of estimated and actual costs

Accurately estimating the costs of construction and manufacturing projects is vital to the survival of businesses. Cost estimators provide managers with the information they need in order to submit competitive contract bids or price products appropriately.

Estimators analyze production processes to determine how much time, money, and labor a project needs. Their estimates account for many factors, including allowances for wasted material, bad weather, shipping delays, and other variables that can increase costs and lower profitability.

In building construction, cost estimators use software to simulate the construction process and evaluate the effects of design choices. They often consult databases to compare the costs of similar projects.

The following are examples of types of cost estimators:

Construction cost estimators prepare estimates for a building project. They may calculate the total cost of building a bridge or commercial shopping center, or they may calculate the cost of just one component, such as the foundation. They identify costs of elements such as raw materials and labor, and they may set a timeline for how long they expect the project to take. Although many work directly for construction firms, some work for contractors and engineering firms.

Manufacturing cost estimators calculate the costs of developing, producing, or redesigning a company’s goods or services. For example, a cost estimator working for a home appliance manufacturer may determine a new dishwasher’s production costs, allowing managers to make production decisions.

Some manufacturing cost estimators work in software development. Many high-technology products require a considerable amount of computer programming, and calculating the costs of software development requires great expertise.

Other workers, such as operations research analysts and construction managers, may also estimate costs in the course of their usual duties.

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How To Become An Electrical Estimator

A bachelor’s degree is generally required to become a cost estimator, although some highly experienced construction workers may qualify without a bachelor’s degree.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. A strong background in mathematics is essential.

Construction cost estimators typically need a bachelor’s degree in an industry-related field, such as construction management, building science, or engineering.

Those interested in estimating manufacturing costs typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, business, or finance.

Training

Some newly hired cost estimators may receive on-the-job training, depending on their experience. Training may include learning a company’s cost-estimating software and techniques.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some employers prefer that construction cost estimators, particularly those without a bachelor’s degree, have previous work experience in the construction industry. For example, experienced electricians and plumbers can become construction cost estimators if they have the necessary construction knowledge and math skills.

Candidates interested in becoming cost estimators can also gain experience through internships and cooperative education programs.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Voluntary certification can show competence and experience in the field. In some instances, employers may require professional certification before hiring.

The following organizations offer a variety of certifications:

  • American Society of Professional Estimators
  • Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimating International
  • International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association

Estimators must generally have at least 2 years of estimating experience and must pass a written exam to become certified.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Cost estimators consider and evaluate different construction and manufacturing methods and options to determine the most cost-effective solution that meets the required specifications.

Detail oriented. Cost estimators must pay attention to details, as minor changes can significantly affect the overall cost of a project or product.

Math skills. Cost estimators calculate labor, material, and equipment cost estimates for construction projects. They use software, such as spreadsheets and databases, and they need excellent math skills to accurately calculate these estimates.

Time-management skills. Cost estimators often work on fixed deadlines, so they must plan their work in advance and work efficiently and accurately.

Writing skills. Cost estimators write comprehensive reports, which often help managers make production decisions.

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Electrical Estimator Career Paths

Electrical Estimator
Estimator Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Production Manager Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Principal Superintendent
District Commercial Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager President/Owner Superintendent
Project And Field Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator Construction Manager Operations Project Manager
Senior Operations Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator General Contractor Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator Assistant Project Manager
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Owner Facilities Manager Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Owner Project Superintendent Director Of Construction
Director Construction Services
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Consultant Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Controls Engineer Project Scheduler
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Owner Project Superintendent Quality Control Supervisor
Assistant Quality Control Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Superintendent Project Superintendent
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Supervisor Owner/Operator Construction Superintendent
Land Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Estimator General Contractor Sales Contractor
Contract Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electrical Estimator?

Electrical Estimator Demographics

Gender

Male

79.3%

Unknown

12.1%

Female

8.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

18.5%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

72.2%

Dakota

11.1%

Ukrainian

5.6%

Hawaiian

5.6%

Cantonese

5.6%
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Electrical Estimator Education

Schools

National University

6.9%

Pennsylvania State University

6.9%

University of Phoenix

6.9%

University of Utah

6.9%

Purdue University

6.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

6.9%

California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

5.2%

Missouri State University

5.2%

University of Houston

5.2%

Michigan State University

5.2%

University of Alaska Anchorage

5.2%

Governors State University

5.2%

University of Southern Maine

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Ranken Technical College

3.4%

University of Central Arkansas

3.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.4%

Macomb Community College

3.4%

Florida Technical College

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

26.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

16.7%

Business

14.4%

Construction Management

7.7%

Project Management

3.5%

Engineering

2.9%

Education

2.9%

Management

2.6%

Drafting And Design

2.6%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

2.6%

General Studies

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.2%

Computer Science

2.2%

Civil Engineering

1.9%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.6%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.6%

Mechanical Engineering

1.3%

Criminal Justice

1.3%

Accounting

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.0%

Other

35.5%

Associate

13.7%

Certificate

6.1%

Masters

5.4%

Diploma

1.5%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$140,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Hensel Phelps
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does an Electrical Estimator make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Electrical Estimator in the United States is $79,512 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $140,000.

Real Electrical Estimator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Mechanical/Electrical Estimator Gardiner & Theobald, Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2013 $97,323 -
$110,000
Mechanical/Electrical Estimator Gardiner & Theobald, Inc. New York, NY Aug 15, 2010 $90,000 -
$110,000
Senior Electrical Estimator VJ Associates of Suffolk, Inc. Hicksville, NY Sep 02, 2009 $80,000
SR. Electrical Estimator VJ Associates of Suffolk, Inc. Hicksville, NY Sep 02, 2009 $80,000
Electrical Estimator Mona Electric Group, Inc. Clinton, MD Feb 27, 2011 $68,000
Electrical Estimator Forest Electric Corp. New York, NY Feb 12, 2016 $65,000
Electrical Estimator Essence Electric Inc. Suwanee, GA Oct 01, 2011 $65,000

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Top Skills for An Electrical Estimator

  1. Engineering Department
  2. Electrical Systems
  3. Cost Estimates
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide customers with project drawings for new electrical systems as required.
  • Prepared electrical cost estimates for construction projects and electrical services to help management in bidding for electrical contracting work and projects.
  • Position also handles the solicitation of material and subcontractor prices, searches and qualifies new subcontractors.
  • Project Management, scheduling job assignments, making site visits and identifying opportunities for improvement and invoking the modifications.
  • Provide accurate bid proposals to customers.

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Top Electrical Estimator Employers

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