How do I Become an Electrical Estimator?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

There are a number of paths that people can take to become an electrical estimator. Estimators are costing professionals: they take the parameters of a job and determine how much it should cost, given information about the job, the supplies needed, the costs of labor, and so forth. You can approach a career in this field from many perspectives, but many people start with an engineering degree and some amount of work experience.

Electrical estimators with a background as an electrician are familiar with the details of work on the ground, including the length of time it takes to do different kinds of jobs, costs that can crop up, and so forth.
Electrical estimators with a background as an electrician are familiar with the details of work on the ground, including the length of time it takes to do different kinds of jobs, costs that can crop up, and so forth.

One way to become an electrical estimator is to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and work for a firm that does electrical work, such as an architecture firm, an electrical design company, or a similar company. With some on-the-job experience, you can become familiar with costing, and can work as an estimator. Companies looking for potential electrical estimators may specifically seek out qualified electrical engineers, and someone who does well in this job could become a supervisor, training other estimators who work for the company.

Some companies retain experienced electricians as electrical estimators.
Some companies retain experienced electricians as electrical estimators.

An experienced electrician can also work as an electrical estimator. Electricians are familiar with the details of work on the ground, including the length of time it takes to do different kinds of jobs, costs that can crop up, and so forth. A company may retain an experienced electrician as an electrical estimator, or he or she can work as a freelance electrical estimator. This person has two trades to rely upon for income: estimating and working as an electrician.

One way to become an electrical estimator is to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and obtain a position with a firm that does electrical work.
One way to become an electrical estimator is to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and obtain a position with a firm that does electrical work.

Another option is to train through experience, without any formal qualifications. Some training as an electrician is strongly recommended, as companies will usually not hire trainee estimators if they are not familiar with the industry. In this case, someone can become an electrical estimator by working for a company that has in-house estimators, learning about how to use the software utilized in the trade and developing experience and skills on the job. This can be a good option for people who want to be able to start work right away.

Someone can become an electrical estimator by working for a company that has in-house estimators.
Someone can become an electrical estimator by working for a company that has in-house estimators.

Once you have a job as an electrical estimator, you may want to apply for membership in a professional organization of estimators. Belonging to such an organization can provide you with networking opportunities, access to the latest techniques and technology, and possibly even with certification, which can make you more employable. Companies in need of an electrical estimator tend to be more likely to choose someone who belongs to a professional organization because membership suggests a commitment to quality and integrity.

Most electrical estimators gained hands-on experience during their degree program or through an apprenticeship.
Most electrical estimators gained hands-on experience during their degree program or through an apprenticeship.
Some training as an electrician is strongly recommended to become an electrical estimator.
Some training as an electrician is strongly recommended to become an electrical estimator.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon288550

Being an electrician does not qualify you to become a highly experienced electrical estimator.

Take my word for it. I was an electrician for over 20 years and it took me more than 20 years to become a highly experienced estimator.

A person needs lots of extra training and experience. You can hire an experienced electrical contractor to give you an estimate, but do not hire an electrician who needs experience in estimating. Hope this helps.

sunnySkys

@JaneAir - I think continuing education is a good idea in any field. Things change constantly!

I think this job sounds like it would be great for someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry but doesn't want to work as an electrician anymore. Also it could be an option for someone who was injured on the job and can't physically work as an electrician.

JaneAir

I think it's interesting a person could qualify for this job by having either a degree or experience in a trade. I think this is pretty great actually.

There are a lot of jobs that employers require degrees for that I think could be done just as well by someone with the appropriate experience. This industry has the right idea with their standards for electrical estimators. People who are qualified should be able to do the job regardless of educational background.

However, I think once someone becomes an estimator they should be required to participate in professional organization and continuing education classes.

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