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A mechanical estimator is a professional who makes determinations about the types of equipment needed for a certain business, company, or job, and then secures and manages that equipment. He or she will also estimate the cost of mechanical jobs and processes. In order to become a mechanical estimator, you will need to complete a high school education and some professional training in the form of job training or post-secondary education. One common path to become a mechanical estimator is to take a lower level position and work your way up through the system by taking part in job training and any other opportunities offered by your employer.
Basic math skills will be necessary to become a mechanical estimator, as will basic communications skills and a solid understanding of the processes common in the industry in which you intend to work. Some industries may require candidates for this position to earn post-secondary certificates or degrees before they can become a mechanical estimator, as some industries can be more complex than others. Many mechanical estimators work as construction workers or other manual laborers, and as time progresses, the workers can learn the skills necessary to become a mechanical estimator by working with more experienced estimators on the job.
Some colleges and universities will offer certificates or degrees that will prepare you to become a mechanical estimator. You can, for example, earn a bachelor's degree in engineering, which will give you the qualifications to secure employment after graduation. Many companies will not require a bachelor's degree, however, and it may be sufficient to earn an associate's degree or a certificate relevant to the industry. You can also attend a technical school rather than a college or university to earn such credentials.
It is likely that you will need to become an apprentice or an assistant to a mechanical estimator before you can become one yourself. This apprenticeship or assistant position can last anywhere from one to five years. The job can be complex, and you will need to develop a sense of the common costs associated with mechanical jobs. The estimates you create will be submitted to potential customers, and the bid will need to be competitive enough to beat out other potential contractors. This means you will need to have a solid understanding of labor rates, machine rental or purchase, materials costs, and anything else that needs to be considered for the overall estimate.
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