Accurately predicting the cost of projects is vital to the survival of construction firms. This is the job of a cost estimator. Estimators compile and analyze data on all factors that can influence costs – materials, labor, location, special machinery requirements, subcontracts, overhead, taxes, insurance, markup and any other costs that may affect the project.
Do you have an aptitude for mathematics? Are you interested in computers? Then estimating might be the profession for you. Estimators must be able to quickly analyze, compare and interpret detailed and sometimes poorly defined information, and be able to make sound and accurate judgments based on this knowledge. Assertiveness and self-confidence in presenting and supporting their conclusions are important, as well as strong communication and interpersonal skills. Computers play an integral role in estimating, so skills in this area are essential. While in high school, you can prepare for a career in cost estimating by doing well in mathematics and science, and taking electives in areas such as computers, drafting and business.