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What makes an estimator “tick”?

Estimators come with multiple skill levels and various areas of expertise. Here’s a list of traits and attributes common to many construction cost estimators.

1. Years (typically at least a decade) of experience as an estimator, usually including some form of “field work.”

2. Love of a new challenge. While there are similarities is many/most estimates, each estimate is also different.

3. Excellent communication skills. The ability to “support” an estimate in front of various audiences (contactors, subs, owners, procurement, project managers, boss, ….).

4. Collaboration skills. Collaboration requires excellent listening, communication, and “people skills”. A estimator must be able to share information and work toward a common goal. One can be a good communicator, but not so good at collaboration.

5. Technical skills. Ability to understand and work with Excel, cost estimating/project management software, cost databases (proprietary and “standard” aka RSMeans), ability to understand and leverage standardized data architectures (MasterFormat, Uniformat) and the newer ones coming down the pike such as OMNICLASS and COBie.

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