Electrician To Electrical Estimator – How To Move Jobs
Find out more about the role of an electrical estimator and what skills, qualifications and personal attributes will help you move into this area of construction engineering.
Many Electrical Estimators start out on site as an electrician. It’s a great foundation to have, and builds a lot of respect with those trades that must implement an electrical fit based on your estimates and calculations. On site knowledge ensures you understand the challenges of installations in the real world, and will help you design practical solutions to the problems a complex build might create.
In this post we explore the skills, qualifications and personal attributes of an electrical estimator, so you can decide whether this is an area you’d like to move into.
A typical day for an electrical estimator
Depending on the size of the company you work for, generally electrical estimators work alongside a team of estimating experts (such as mechanical estimators) to provide an accurate estimation of project costs and what resources are needed to complete the project successfully. That involves all aspects of the electrical component in a construction project; from reading blueprints and studying specifications, through to overseeing project bidding and tendering for contractors and suppliers, to project managing the job and creating a plan of action, schedules and allocating resources.
Therefore a typical day in the office could be very varied, especially as an electrical estimator may be working on more than one project at the same time.
Skills and qualifications needed to be electrical estimator
As mentioned at the top of this post, hands on experience as an electrician is invaluable. You’ll have a much better insight into the practicalities of an installation and factors like how long things take: time is money especially if power is turned off preventing other work from taking place.
An HNC / HND in electrical engineering is often asked for by employers, although experience working in the capacity of an electrical estimator may override these requirements. Electrical engineering courses contain an element of cost estimating, if you feel that you would like more training in this area search for courses such as a ‘construction cost estimator’ or a construction / project management courses. There are various online and one day courses that give you more insight into the different estimating techniques and software used, cost estimation processes and factors that impact cost estimation.
Soft skills needed to be an electrical estimator
Because there’s no right or wrong way to become an electrical estimator, soft skills play a very important role in whether someone has the right aptitude for the job.
Attention to detail is probably the most important quality an electrical estimator needs. Oversights can be extremely costly, potentially impacting on the whole project not just the electrical part of a construction.
Project and time management skills are essential. Electrical cost estimation is not just about understanding the material cost but also how long a job will take, what human resource is needed and how different elements of the job need to be managed.
Client relationship skills are also important as most electrical estimators are client-facing. You’ll need to understand the client’s business objectives and how the electrical installation impacts them, ensuring quotes reflect the client’s needs. Repeat business is desired by most companies, so your role will also be to nurture client relationships and help win new business.
Being a team player is also essential. Complex construction projects rely on everyone involved collaborating and helping each other do their job effectively. As an electrical estimator you’ll be working with the team in the office and with the electricians on site. You’ll need to get along with everyone to get the best out of them, and do your bit to keep the project on schedule and on budget.
If you’re looking for new job as an electrical estimator or other roles in electrical engineering, please get in touch.
Call 01252 413080 or email [email protected]