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Become An Estimating Assistant

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Working As An Estimating Assistant

  • 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

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Estimating Assistant 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 Estimating Assistant

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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Estimating Assistant Career Paths

Estimating Assistant
Estimator Project Manager
Contract Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Estimator Project Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Estimator Estimator Project Manager Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Executive Assistant Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Project Engineer Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Buyer Material Manager
Director Of Materials Management
7 Yearsyrs
Project Administrator Consultant Service Manager
Installation Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Administrator Office Manager President
President And General Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Administrator Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Project Accountant
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Assistant Project Manager Construction Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Consultant Lead Consultant
Assistant Center Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Production Supervisor Quality Control Supervisor
Assistant Quality Control Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Owner Owner And Sales
Managing Owner
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Estimator
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Estimating Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$76,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$76,000
Median 50%
$148,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Faithful+Gould
Highest Paying City
Chicago, IL
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does an Estimating Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Estimating Assistant in the United States is $77,066 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $148,000.

Real Estimating Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Estimating Assistant Core Construction Services of Florida, LLC University Park, FL Jan 04, 2016 $55,000
Estimating Assistant Core Construction Services of Florida, LLC University Park, FL Jan 03, 2016 $55,000
Estimating Assistant Core Construction Services of Florida, LLC University Park, FL Aug 21, 2016 $55,000
Estimating Assistant Faithful+Gould, Inc. Boston, MA Jul 01, 2012 $46,400

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Top Skills for An Estimating Assistant

  1. Subcontractor Database
  2. Cost Estimates
  3. Bid Proposals
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained large company Subcontractor Database and office archives.
  • Conferred with engineers, contractors, estimators and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Solicited bid proposals and prepared estimates from vendors/suppliers in commercial construction industry.
  • Managed bid schedule and documented the general contractors bid information.
  • Compiled purchase orders and scheduled material delivery and structure sequence production.

Estimating Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

59.8%

Male

32.4%

Unknown

7.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Hispanic or Latino

19.7%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

Cantonese

7.5%

Tagalog

5.0%

Mandarin

5.0%

Arabic

5.0%

Catalan

2.5%

German

2.5%

Dakota

2.5%

French

2.5%

Amharic

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Polish

2.5%
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Estimating Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Florida International University

8.2%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

7.3%

Pennsylvania State University

6.4%

University of Houston

6.4%

Arizona State University

5.5%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

5.5%

California State University - San Marcos

5.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.5%

Drexel University

4.5%

Grand Canyon University

4.5%

University of North Florida

3.6%

Columbus State Community College

3.6%

The Academy

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

Indian River State College

3.6%

Miami Dade College

3.6%

Gateway Technical College

3.6%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.6%

Baker College

3.6%
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Majors

Business

29.0%

Construction Management

11.5%

Civil Engineering

7.0%

Accounting

7.0%

General Studies

3.7%

Management

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering

3.5%

Project Management

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.3%

Marketing

3.3%

Finance

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Medical Assisting Services

2.7%

Psychology

2.5%

Architecture

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Computer Science

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.4%

Other

31.4%

Associate

13.6%

Masters

7.0%

Certificate

6.2%

Diploma

1.7%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.2%
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