Civil Estimator

What does a civil estimator do?

A civil estimator is a construction worker whose duties are to bid on construction projects, assess project budgets, and work closely with management to determine how best to pursue a civil engineering project. These projects can include bridge building, highway construction, or rail construction.

A Civil estimator is a construction professional who bids on civil projects that have gone to tender. Civil estimators typically have a background in civil engineering, construction project management, or construction supervision.

Tasks and duties

  • Interpreting plans, regulations and codes of practice.
  • Calculating costs and estimating timelines with a high level of accuracy.
  • Liaising with governments, clients and stakeholders.
  • Working closely with construction managers, architects and surveyors to plan and develop a budget for building projects.
  • Using software to calculate the cost and timeframes for a project, check subcontractor quotes and submit tenders.
  • Planning, reviewing and delivering final estimate of budget and cost plans.

Why estimation is important in civil engineering?

Estimation requires a detailed Knowledge of the construction procedures and cost of materials & labour . It help to work out the approximate cost of the project in order to decide its feasibility with respect to the cost and to ensure the financial resources, if the proposal is approved.

Qualifications of an Estimator

A good estimator should possess the following quantifications:
1. A thorough understanding of architectural drawings.
2. A sound knowledge of building materials, construction methods and customs prevailing in the trade.
3. A fund of information collected or gained through experience in construction work, relating to materials required, hourly output of workers and plant, overhead expenses and costs of all kinds.
4. An understanding of a good method of preparing an estimate.
5. A systematic and orderly mind.
6. Ability to do careful and accurate calculations.
7.Ability to collect, classify and evaluate data that would be useful in estimating.

Estimating labor

Labor is often the biggest approximate cost of the project. Whether it is subcontractors, skilled or unskilled labor that is needed, it all must be included. If construction is set to continue for numerous years, then pay rises have to be factored in as well. Through looking at the scope of work the estimator can assess the jobs to be completed and the labor necessary. It is also necessary to consider the length of the job to understand how to estimate how much labor will be needed.

Estimating equipment

There are lots of tools and equipment needed in the construction of a project. All of which have a price associated with them and their transport. Whether the equipment will be part of the building, used to create a water supply or to provide road access to the site. Running costs and maintenance are also included in equipment cost estimations.

Estimating time

Through historical data and a thorough knowledge of the general specifications of the proposed project, a timeframe can be estimated. This can then be used to help calculate labor costs. Time also needs to be allocated to unforeseen circumstances, just in case. Weather and location must be factored in too. Some places rain more in winter, the tropics get more rain in the warm weather so the location will affect the total cost of the project.