Table of Contents

Construction estimator skills: How to be a good estimator

Estimating software such as our general contractor software, are extremely useful tools. However, it is only a tool. Estimators still need basic skills to be successful at what they do. Obviously skills will be honed over time, but there are some skills that a person needs to bring to the table to start with.


Perhaps most importantly, they need math skills. Estimating, by nature, requires a lot of work with numbers. If working with numbers and doing complex calculations are anathema to someone, professional estimating probably isn’t a good as a career prospect for them.


All those numbers and calculations have to be kept in order and that means having stellar organizational skills. The numbers can fly fast and furiously and can change in the blink of an eye. Being able to keep track of it all is a necessary skill for an estimator.

Data Analysis

You have to know what you’re looking at. All those numbers and all the data that you’ll be looking at will need to be evaluated and interpreted within the context of making a competitive and accurate bid. Cost estimating software can help estimators be more proficient, getting that balance of speed and accuracy that is required.

Critical Thinking

Knowing strengths and weaknesses throughout the estimating process can mean the difference between winning a lucrative contract or losing it to a competitor. Knowing and identifying ways to build things at the minimum cost will be greatly improved through experience and having access to time-saving and error-reducing tools.

Detail Oriented

Attention to detail is important to ensure cost estimators achieve accurate results. They need to be able to identify cost drivers quickly and make sure that when one cost changes, they know how it will affect other costs related to the project.

Effective Communication

Being able to give an engaging presentation will help estimators support and defend their reasoning, if necessary, and convey alternative and more cost effective options.

Technical Skills

Having the requisite knowledge about the construction industry will help estimators with their accuracy. This knowledge includes processes, materials and knowledge about how the various construction related industries are changing. Computer skills will also enable them to develop more elaborate equations and manipulate the data they have to come up with better estimates.

Time Management

Deadlines are a part of almost every job and they are paramount to the fast-paced world of estimating. Estimators need to be able to plan their time wisely. The right estimating software such as our concrete estimating software, can help with time management.

Writing Skills

Written communication to present complex details clearly and succinctly is another important part of estimators’ jobs and having this basic skill will help a lot.

Anyone looking into becoming an estimator should have some combination of this basic skill set. While they will all be developed over time, using the right construction estimate software will help a lot.

Return On Investment
Cloud-based estimating ROI
See how much you could save with cloud-based estimating
Book a consultation