The Outlook for Estimator Jobs in California

Estimator at construction site
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Any given project is only as successful as its budget allows. Poorly budgeted projects result in low quality or incomplete work. Heavily padded budgets result in unhappy clients, or a total lack of a project altogether (i.e., losing the project). 

This is why every budget needs a skilled estimator behind it, and why construction staffing agencies are always on the lookout for good estimators. This blog explores why estimators are important to projects in California. 

California Needs Estimators 

Construction estimators, at the core of their job, calculate costs and prepare estimates for civil engineering or construction projects. In general, estimates encompass materials, labor, mobilization/demobilization, and equipment. 

Estimators also undertake an administrative role in handling quotes, tenders, and a list of suppliers and contractors. Estimators aren’t only predictive, however. It’s up to them to continuously keep on top of costs and spending during a project. 

Many estimators specialize in particular kinds of construction or engineering projects, such as electrical estimators, heavy civil estimators, and vertical construction estimators. This means companies and staffing agencies often have multiple estimators posting at any given time.

The need for estimators seems fairly self-evident. A project can’t go ahead without knowing how much it will cost. However, California finds itself with a growing need for estimators. 

California has continually been rated as one of the most expensive places to build in the United States. Partially, this is because of the high cost of land in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, construction companies also tend to charge top dollar in California. The state is often the site of high levels of innovation in construction, which doesn’t come cheap. 

What You Need to Become an Estimator

Being an estimator is a popular position in California for those who specialize in accounting, have attention to detail, or have some desire to work with numbers and want to move into the construction industry. If you do have a degree in a relevant field, you could potentially be a candidate for the position of estimator. 

In particular, being an estimator requires excellent mathematics, accounting, and computer skills. You will need to be proficient in most Microsoft Office programs, know how to use (or be willing to learn) estimating software, check quantities and price quotes for accuray, have good presentation skills, and handle reports and bid letters. 

You also need to have excellent problem-solving and communication skills to constantly be on top of the budget and consistently keep all relevant parties informed of the budget. Estimators need to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing with a variety of people, including the project manager slated to run the project, the superintendent that will be directing the field crews, subcontractors working on the project, vendors (for materials and supplies), and the client.

An understanding of the construction industry as a whole is important. You can’t simply rely on your accounting skills; you need to read and understand blueprints and specs, as well as have a good understanding of construction materials, methods, and equipment. 

Estimators in California

California always has exciting opportunities in the construction sector, and every construction staffing agency is going to be looking for good estimators to help provide the expertise those construction projects require. Certis Solutions is here to help you connect with the jobs you need to make the most of your career. 

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