Construction estimators analyse costs and prepare estimates on civil engineering, architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical construction projects. They are employed by residential, commercial and industrial construction companies and by major electrical, mechanical and trade contractors, or they may be self-employed. People in this occupation:
People in this occupation:
Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2021 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))
Source: 2021 Job Bank Wage Report
Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook
10 year expected job openings: 970
Estimators may specialize in estimating costs for structural, electrical or mechanical construction projects.
Construction estimators typically work a 40 hour week, with overtime during busy periods. These workers spend a large portion of their day at construction sites; however, they also work in an office.
These workers may be exposed to hazards, including equipment-related hazards, chemicals or toxic materials. Safety precautions and protective equipment are worn to reduce risks.
There is a great deal of competition amongst construction estimator companies, so workers must be able to meet strict deadlines. Failure to meet a deadline can result in the loss of a week of work and preparation.
Industry sources report that construction estimators are increasingly required to understand the conceptual and planning stages of projects (i.e. early or conceptual estimates are increasingly required in addition to traditional detailed construction estimates).
Source: 2016 Census
Construction estimators are usually required to:
Certification is beneficial to gain employment in this occupation:
Civil Engineering Technology Diploma
Construction Estimator Certified (CEC) designation
For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.
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Most job openings will arise due to retirements.
The Construction industry is tied to the economy. When the economy is booming, typically contstruction activity follows and vice versa.
Qualified graduates entering the job market can expect opportunities. Industry reports there is a shortage of qualified estimators. In particular, smaller companies need highly trained estimators who can also serve as project managers or schedulers.
Individual’s that have experience with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and Public Private Partnerships (P3) will be in higher demand.
Contractors prefer estimators to be employees, due to the sensitive nature of cost information, so a construction boom translates into a demand for estimators employed with companies. When the market is slow, there will be more self-employed construction estimators.
Recent graduates can expect to begin as junior estimators, project coordinators, assistants to project superintendents or other support positions.
With experience, construction estimators can go on to become professional quantity surveyors, and advance to positions that oversee an entire project, such as senior estimator, chief estimator, project manager, risk manager, site supervisor, manager of pre-construction services, or vice-president of construction.