Home Project Estimator Careers

Explore the career requirements for home project estimators. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Home Project Estimator Do?

Home project estimators make estimates in regards to the cost and time requirements for residential construction. They factor in time, labor, blueprints and supplies needed into the cost estimate. Home project estimators work with engineers, contractors and clients along with a sales team to formulate bids. Estimators also find ways to reduce costs of building and materials when possible. They also keep records of estimates and bids.

Below is a table that lists the degree requirements, training requirements, key skills, potential job growth and median salary for this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Training Required On-the-job
Certification Optional
Key Skills Cost estimating (including tax and insurance information), time estimating, knowledge of electrical wiring, plumbing and masonry
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 9%* (for all cost estimators)
Median Salary (2016) $56,562** (for all construction estimators)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Is a Home Project Estimator?

A home project estimator is the person who evaluates the initial cost of a project, including supplies, labor and equipment. In this role, you must anticipate construction and shipping delays, taxes and insurance, among other factors. Home project estimator duties might involve making direct sales to homeowners, supporting internal sales and promoting customer service.

You need to be able to review plans and project specifications, seek material proposals and create cost analysis matrixes. You also might get to help award contracts and distribute purchase and change orders, as well as assist project managers and staff. You are likely to work in an office most of the time, but home visits may be required.

What Does It Take to Work in this Field?

Every company has its own estimation procedures, which means that on-the-job training is common. Employers typically require prospective employees to have a bachelor's degree in building construction, construction management, engineering or architecture, but experience in an area such as electrical, plumbing or masonry can sometimes substitute for a degree. Sales and management experience can also give you more opportunities.

You can also obtain certification through a professional organization to attest to your competence and experience. Certification requirements might include a certain number of years of estimating experience, completion of coursework, publication of an article in the field and/or passing a written exam.

To be a successful home project estimator, you should possess math, analytical, communication and computer skills. You also need to master industry-specific software. You should be able to interpret unclear information to make good decisions, as well as present information to other teammates confidently.

How Much Could I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated job growth of all cost estimators between 2014 and 2024 is 9%. For all people working as construction estimators in 2016 the median salary was $56,562 according to PayScale.com.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some similar career options include a budget analyst, construction manager and financial analyst. Budget analysts work with companies to manage spending and prepare reports. Construction managers use a budget to plan construction projects. A financial analyst helps customers make investment decisions including stocks and bonds. These career options require a bachelor's degree like a home project estimator.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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